It can be difficult to believe truths that we aren’t familiar with - to accept a reality that seems so far out of touch from our own. When my hands were half of the size they are now, I used them to play basketball with my friends. My small hands guided me in my homework assignments, they supported me while I did handstands and cartwheels and swung on the monkey bars. My small hands did what small hands were supposed to do and for that, I am grateful. Around 170 million pairs of little hands around the world don’t have the same function as mine once did. Almost 11% of the world’s children are involved in child labor.Read More
The law of supply and demand requires both a buyer and a seller in order for a transaction to occur. The same applies in the sex industry.
We’ve already discussed the typical demographic of sex traffickers––romantic partners, deceitful bosses, and anyone that has convinced victims that they can be trusted––but what about buyers of sex? Who are these people that purchase other people for their own greedy, lustful desires?Read More
Have you ever thought about where hair extensions come from? The short answer is that they come from just about anywhere, and it’s not always a very pretty picture. In fact, the hair extensions we use to achieve long, luscious hair, might have been acquired through exploitation.Read More
Human trafficking is rife in the travel industry, with airports serving as common hubs for the transport of people for exploitation. Between 2011 and 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received reports of 269 cases of human trafficking which referenced intersections with airlines or airports. Within the last seven years, Delta Airlines has taken action, realizing the role that airlines can play in the fight to end human trafficking.Read More
In our current digital age, social media makes the world go round. There are so many online outlets that are used in order for us to remain in contact with our friends and family like: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. According to the Polaris Project, the internet has dramatically reshaped how we buy and sell things, including each other.Read More
Riverside County, the fourth largest out of all fifty-eight counties in the state of California, is home to approximately 2.4 million people. Recently, it became an increasingly popular place of residence for its convenience to places like: Big Bear Mountains, Palm Springs desert area, the Southern California beach cities, and Los Angeles. Known for its centralized location, Riverside County seems like the place to be.
What could ever be wrong?Read More
Last fall, I was introduced to the Cladwell App (only available on iOS). If you've never heard of the Cladwell app it is like having a stylist in your pocket. And as a stylist, I appreciate not having to overthink my own outfits and wanted a fun and interesting way to put Dressember outfits together all December long.
Here are a few of my favorite looks from this last Dressember, some were suggestions from Cladwell, others I changed for a Custom Outfit mostly to accommodate for the cold weather:Read More
In a field with few written resources for survivors of human trafficking to help guide them on the journey of recovery, I have found a gem.Read More
Preschoolers are often overwhelmed. They cry when their friends cry and they laugh uncontrollably when their friends tell a joke - and most times they don’t even know why. Children are filled with empathy; they engage in the feelings of others, they sympathize quickly, and they are incredibly observant. These are all the qualities of a fierce advocate - people who see others and people who care. There were days, though, when I wondered how to practically encourage advocacy within them.Read More
KnowTheChain is a project undertaken by Humanity United in partnership with the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Sustainalytics, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Verité that acts as a valuable resource “for companies and investors to understand and address forced labor risks within their global supply chains.”Read More
She’s standing outside in the hustle of the city. She is wearing a short red dress––thin and tight to her body––and the wind causes the hairs on her arms to rise. Or maybe this is the nerves. There are men who caress her figure with their eyes. She feels dirty for simply standing. She feels stuck in this grime. She feels that she cannot run or scream, because her voice will merely melt into the night. And then a miracle happens: it takes only one second, and one man is asking if she is alright, is telling her that he is a policeman here to bring her to safety. She goes with him, and thus begins her years of recuperation.
She is a survivor.
But what happens next? Where will she work? How will she fit herself back into society? How can she feel human again?Read More
The terms human trafficking and prostitution are often used interchangeably with one another. When we do this, we make inappropriate distinctions between two similar, but very different, realities. While this seems insignificant on the surface, the consequences of using the wrong terminology can be detrimental.Read More
We can start by understanding that sexual assault occurs in all forms of human trafficking, even what may seem to be intimate partnerships. It is also important to understand the complexity of the dynamics between sexual assault and human trafficking. Once we can understand that, we will be able to develop a compassion for the sufferers and not fall into the victim-blaming mindset. It is easy to look at these situations as bystanders and question why the victim does not seek help from authorities or simply walk away. But knowing and understanding that there is so much more at stake than we can understand is what will allow people to feel safe in coming forward and speaking up.Read More
Soon after earning his college degree in anthropology, Timmerman journeyed to meet the people who made his underwear in Bangladesh, his jeans in Cambodia, his t-shirt in Honduras, and his flip-flops in China.Read More
When beginning to research human trafficking statistics, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the differing numbers that you find. There are many prominent organizations whose websites list the number of trafficking victims in the world, but many of them record largely differing numbers. It’s important to note this difference in numbers, however, as you advocate and fight for the individuals trapped in trafficking.Read More
I learned that poverty in the developing world leaves the poor vulnerable to more than just hunger or cold — it leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and violence, with little to no hope of justice in a corrupt law enforcement system skewed against them. This disturbing reality is known as the Locust Effect.Read More
What if I told you superheroes were real? That everyday, all over the world, superheroes were fighting some of the worst crimes. Would you believe it?Read More
If you’re still not sure what you want to be when you grow up, I have a suggestion for you: you want to be Elle, creator of the ELLERALI fashion brand. Creative, driven, intelligent, and sincere, there is so much to admire about this LA-based marine-biologist-turned-upcycled-fashion-designer. I had the privilege of having a conversation with Elle recently and learned just how much she and her brand have to offer the world.Read More
Last spring, Dressember’s Communications Manager, Madeline MacDonald, and I had a chance to grab a cup of coffee (and lavender tea). Before long, our conversation began to touch on some typically controversial areas and questions surrounding human trafficking. There was one question in particular that we continued to grapple with:
Can one be both pro-sex while also being anti-sex trafficking?Read More
Chelsea Utta always wanted to start a business, but she was too busy. Busy living abroad, getting married, adopting a child, and working for A Family For Every Orphan, a non-profit whose mission is their name. The timing and the funds meant a business would never be easy. But Amma’s Umma couldn’t wait.Read More