Newscast Media WASHINGTON—April was declared Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month by Barack Obama, as he reminded the nation that sexual violence was an affront to human dignity that cannot be tolerated and calls on Americans to offer their support to survivors of such crimes.
The proclamation reads:
In the last 20 years, our nation has made meaningful progress toward addressing sexual assault. Where victims were once left without recourse, laws have opened a path to safety and justice; where a culture of fear once kept violence hidden, survivors are more empowered to speak out and get help.
But even today, too many women, men, and children suffer alone or in silence, burdened by shame or unsure anyone will listen. This month, we recommit to changing that tragic reality by stopping sexual assault before it starts and ensuring victims get the support they need.
Sexual violence is an affront to human dignity and a crime no matter where it occurs. While rape and sexual assault affect all communities, those at the greatest risk are children, teens, and young women. Nearly one in five women will be a victim of sexual assault during college.
For some groups, the rates of violence are even higher — Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience sexual assault as the general population. Moreover, we know rape and sexual assault are consistently underreported, and that the physical and emotional trauma they leave behind can last for years.
With Vice President Joe Biden’s leadership, we have made preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors a top priority. Earlier this month, I was proud to sign the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which renews and strengthens the law that first made it possible for our country to address sexual assault in a comprehensive way. The act preserves critical services like rape crisis centers, upholds protections for immigrant victims, gives state and tribal law enforcement better tools to investigate cases of rape, and breaks down barriers that keep lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims from getting help. It also expands funding for sexual assault nurse examiner programs and sexual assault response teams, helping states deliver justice for survivors and hold offenders accountable.
Just as we keep fighting sexual assault in our neighborhoods, we must also recommit to ending it in our military—because no one serving our country should be at risk of assault by a fellow service member.
Where this crime does take place, it cannot be tolerated; victims must have access to support, and offenders must face the consequences of their actions. Members of our armed forces and their families can learn more about the resources available to them at 1-877-995-5247 and www.SafeHelpline.org.
All Americans can play a role in changing the culture that enables sexual violence. Each of us can take action by lifting up survivors we know and breaking the silence surrounding rape and sexual assault. To get involved, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/1is2many.
Together, our nation is moving forward in the fight against sexual assault. This month, let us keep working to prevent violence in every corner of America, and let us rededicate ourselves to giving survivors the bright future they deserve.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2013 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
Newscast Media BEIJING—Due to the cultural belief Chinese hold that people who lose their organs in this life will have them replaced in the next life, the main source of harvesting organs is executed prisoners, according to Radio Deutsche Welle.
“The actual number of executions is a closely guarded state secret,” says John Kamm, the head of the US-based non-profit Dui Hua Foundation.
“However, in recent years to some extent the curtain has been raised somewhat by officials or scholars who have access to the real numbers and earlier this year we did get some indication as to the number of people executed in 2011 – approximately 4000.”
Organ harvesting is a very lucrative business because the organs can be sold on the black market in Asia. It can also lead to human trafficking.
“It’s a bit of a cultural taboo,” explains Kamm. “The Chinese traditionally believe that when they leave this world and enter the next they have to be in possession of all their organs. So the number of people who have been willing to donate organs is very small.”
Five years ago, the government ruled that organs from executed prisoners could only be given to family members. And recently it said that it would phase out the practice of using executed prisoners’ organs by 2015 completely.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is asking students to come up with new and innovative ways to end modern slavery. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced the Campus Challenge to Counter Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) on October 11 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
Across three phases and through the USAID website ChallengeSlavery.org, the C-TIP Campus Challenge is designed to increase global awareness about trafficking, inspire activism among students and scholars at colleges and universities worldwide and generate new, creative ideas and solutions to stop human trafficking and help the 20.9 million people around the world are enslaved in sex or labor exploitation, USAID said.
During the first phase from October 11 to November 28 at ChallengeSlavery.org, students will have the opportunity to participate in discussion groups on various trafficking subtopics, host online conversations, and crowdsourcing issues that will frame the problems to be addressed in the next phase.
The contest phase, from November 28 to January 8, 2013, will be open for applications from U.S. and international students proposing innovative technological solutions to advance trafficking-in-persons prevention and protection.
From January 9, 2013, to January 30, 2013, the ChallengeSlavery.org community will be invited to rate the proposals and provide suggestions on how submissions can be improved. On February 1, 2013, USAID will announce the semifinalists and in the following three weeks, semifinalist proposals will be judged by an expert C-TIP and technologist panel. The winners will be announced at the end of February and will be invited to share their proposals with donors, C-TIP and technology professionals.
Included in the implementation of the USAID’s 2012 C-TIP Policy, and building on President Obama’s speech at the Clinton Global Initiative, USAID policy and programs place a heightened emphasis on innovation, technology and empirical research to help prevent trafficking and provide assistance to victims, USAID said.
USAID said it is partnering with Not for Sale, Slavery Footprint, Free the Slaves and MTV Exit on this project to maximize efforts and inspire millions of people already working on the issue and invite new activists to the cause, ultimately, strengthening the movement to return freedom to the millions of people robbed of their dignity every day.
The report represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it. The U.S. government uses the TIP report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs.
In addition, USAID programmed $163.3 million in C-TIP activities in 68 countries and regional missions between 2001 and 2010 and continues to work around the world.
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—A disturbing investigation shows that human trafficking trade continues to grow, with as many as 12 million men, women and children living in a state of modern slavery, and the number is expected to double to almost 27 million. People like Tara from Ethiopia, promised a good job as a maid in the Middle East, who finds her passport confiscated, and 20 hour days of humiliation and hard work.
Or Umma from Somalia who spends her last pennies for a boat ride to Italy only to find herself an unwilling victim of the sex trade. Or Noben, a fisherman from Bangladesh beaten by his boss when he fails to meet his quota of catch for the day.
A common misconception is that sex trafficking is a problem limited to developing nations. Every year, thousands of people are brought into the West and forced into prostitution. The high demand allows traffickers to make a great profit and continue to bring more victims into the trade. In most countries prostitution is illegal, yet countries like Thailand attract numerous wealthy men from the West who are sex
tourists looking for underage girls, boys and she-males.
In one of its worst forms, trafficking involves harvesting people’s organs and selling them on the black market.
Talitha Kum network headed by Sister Estrella Castalone is on the front line fighting the trafficking, and also providing programs to train consecrated religious and lay in methods of prevention and to provide assistance for victims of trafficking. Below is an interview of Sr. Castalone talking about this growing problem of human trafficking.
Tracey McClure interviews Sister Estrella – Audio Courtesy: Vatican Radio
(The interviewer keeps mispronouncing the nun’s name as Australia instead of Estrella)