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Sweet Treats for all this Easter?

easteregg_2868022bMost of us look forward to chocolate at this time of year, however, before we all get cracking on Easter celebrations, let’s consider the global supply chain – from  cocoa farming to the Easter eggs we buy for our loved ones, and choose to enjoy chocolate which is produced fairly without exploitation of others.

Chocolate and Human trafficking

Most of the chocolate we buy is produced from cocoa grown in West Africa where farmers can earn less than $2 a day. This in turn can result in farmers resorting to child labour and slavery to keep their prices competitive in the global market. This drive to keep cocoa prices low is fuelled by multinational companies and consumer’s desire and expectation of low cost chocolate. In the West, chocolate has become a low cost everyday item, often produced at the expense of other humans.

Human Trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. It is a crime which violates human rights. Thousands of children are trafficked to harvest cocoa beans. Children as young as 5 are forced to work long hours, in dangerous conditions with no pay and no access to education. Impoverished families in Ivory Coast, West Africa can be duped by traffickers into believing their children will earn money and receive education if they work on cocoa farms, some children are abducted from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali- two of the poorest countries in the world. Some children will never see their families again.

What is being done to combat child labour and human trafficking in chocolate production?

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) works in partnerships with multinational companies aiming to combat the worst forms of child labour. Whilst many of the major chocolate manufactures are working towards combating trafficking and child labour in the supply chain, only a small percentage of products have a guarantee that the chocolate is fairly produced without human trafficking and child labour.

What we can do here in Donegal ?

Join the campaign to put pressure on chocolate manufacturers to guarantee all chocolate is fairly produced, and find out where in Donegal you can buy chocolate such as “Fair trade”- visit WWW.stopthetraffik.org

Human Trafficking is a crime which can take place anywhere, including areas such as Donegal, where recent arrests were made following reports of human trafficking and labour exploitation here Letterkenny.

We all have a role to play in being alert to the possibility of trafficking crimes and to report any concerns to Crimestoppers:  Tel: 1800 25 00 25, E-mail: Blueblindfold@garda.ie, www.blueblindfold.gov.ie.

The most common forms of trafficking are for: sexual exploitation and  forced labour.

Some of the barriers to potential victims of trafficking escaping :

  • Not knowing how to access help
  • Fear of retaliation by the traffickers to the victim or their family back in their home country.
  • Fear of deportation due to undocumented migrant status or passports/documents being withheld from the victims by traffickers or others.
  • No English- victims may have little or no knowledge of the local language.

Some of the signs of human trafficking- (for further info. see www.blueblindfold.gov.ie):

  • Women or men living in groups in poor conditions and working very long hours.
  • Women or men dependent on their employer for all their basic needs such as food, accommodation and transport.
  • Women or men living in the same place as they are working.

In The Long Run :- Ending human trafficking ‘one step at a time’

“In the Long run” is a Belgian based Oasis project, where a  team of runners, who have travelled over 1,000km along a major international human trafficking route, aim to  raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking, and provide information to communities about the issue of human trafficking.

The Donegal Anti Human Trafficking Group is welcoming the “In the Long Run” team to Letterkenny on 30th March 2016. Donegal YouthCouncil will be hosting an event and have invited the “In the Long Run” team to highlight the human trafficking issue.

 For more information see: ‘Donegal Anti-Human Trafficking Group’ on Facebook and ‘In The Long Run‘.

This feature was written by Catherine Brown as part of our Women’s Lives series to raise awareness to the local and global crime that is human trafficking. 

Breaking the Silence

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There are various forms of violence committed against women and one of the most prevalent is sexual violence.

By definition sexual violence means any non-consented act or activity imposed upon a person. The violence itself can take various forms “including but not restricted to: rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape within marriage/relationships, forced marriage, so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and ritual abuse.” (Rape Crisis Organisation)

Sexual violence never seems to be an easy topic to openly discuss due in part to its sensitive nature, a situation which seems to only feed the crime’s prevalence.

Research in Ireland (SAVI) showed that 42% of women and 28% of men as having experienced some form of sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime (McGee et al, 2002). Further research shows that only around 33% of incidents are reported in Ireland to the police or another formal authority. (Donegal Rape Crisis Centre, 2012) While 90% of sexual violence perpetrators are known to their victim. Such statistics highlight the victim’s insecurity over coming forward and the fact that perpetrators are commonly known to them.

By engaging in an open conversation however we can help break down the negative attitudes and barriers which allow sexual violence to continue and instead start to ensure its prevention.

To help bring awareness to the crime of sexual violence, Inclusion Ireland has produced an information booklet, which holds answers to some of the questions people may be afraid to ask.  While it also provides information of the support available to victims and the actions we can take to report a crime of sexual violence.

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Click here  to view and download the information and support booklet

     Remember you are not alone, there are people you can talk to     If you or any one you know have been effected by sexual violence you can find support with Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre, call them for free on 1800 44 88 44.

Let’s End Human Trafficking

Raise your awareness to the issue of Human Trafficking here in Ireland

 

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Please join Donegal Anti-Human Trafficking Group Tuesday 24th of March 2015 @ 2.00 p.m.-5.00 p.m. in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny for an awareness raising workshop.

The workshop is open to health professionals, community activists and politicians. It will be an interactive workshop to help build an understanding to the issue of Human Trafficking on a local and global scale, addressing the root causes, how exploitation can happen and how we can help prevent this crime from happening.

If you would like to attend this FREE workshop or know anyone who would please book a place. To book a place please contact Helena Glackin by email on helenaglackin@live.ie

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This workshop is supported by the HSE, National Lottery funds and has been organised by the Donegal Anti- Human Trafficking Group

Do you know what Human Trafficking is? And would you be able to recognise its signs in your local community?

A guide to the issue of Human Trafficking for Service Providers in Co.Donegal. Please click on the picture below to find out about what is Human Trafficking is and how as a community we can help end it.

human trafficThe booklet was compiled by the Human Trafficking Working Group, an interagency partnership with members representing organisations such as the HSE, An Garda Siochána, Letterkenny Women’s Centre, Donegal Domestic Violence Service, Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre, Nexus and National Collective of community-based Women’s Network-Donegal Women’s Network. To read more about the launch of this booklet please visit the HSE website.

“Human Trafficking Is A Form Of Slavery It Is Happening In Ireland. Let’s End It Now.

Be Vigilant, Call 1800 25 00 25 Or Email Blueblindfold@Garda.Ie Educate Yourself About This Crime.”

The National Anti-Human Trafficking Unit can be contacted by post, telephone, fax and e-mail:

Address: Anti-Human Trafficking Unit
Department of Justice and Equality
51 St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2
Phone: + 353 1 602-8878
Fax: + 353 1 602-8276
E-mail: ahtudivision@justice.ie