A social enterprise offering organic, ethical and fair trade items which are handmade by survivors of sex trafficking is this week’s #FortunateFriday feature.
Generation 414, founded by Christine Teo, is passionate about a generation rising up and speaking out about the injustices of the world. It is about being the voice for the 45.8 million adults and children whose voices have been trapped in slavery around the world today. In the brothels and factories, hidden in the shadows. It is about being the voice for the change we want to see in the world. The organisation is made up entirely of volunteers who are passionate about the fight against human trafficking and these volunteers have done such an amazing job at making the survivors feel human again.
I first found out about Generation 414 when a really good friend of mine gifted me a bag which she had bought from an ethical market she had gone to in December (you can view their current range here). There was a very thoughtful tag attached to the bag talking about the organisation and I immediately reflected on how FORTUNATE we are! Me, especially! I personally have never had to work in conditions or in jobs that I never wanted to or that exploited me because I have been fortunate enough to be born into a family (and a country) that provided me with that privilege, but I know that many others are not so fortunate.
Sex trafficking in Australia
Whilst sex trafficking is not a prevalent problem within our Australian society, the issue still exists. The annual Trafficking in Persons report rates Australia and New Zealand in the top tier of nations who comply with the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking. However, the report urged both countries to step up their efforts. It was reported that Australia has not taken significant steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts and needs to vigorously investigate, prosecute and stringently sentence trafficking offenders.
Whilst child sex trafficking that has been uncovered in Australia involved a very small number of Australian citizens, primarily teenage-aged girls, as well as foreign victims exploited within the country, the report described our anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts as modest. The Australian Federal Police investigated 87 alleged trafficking cases in 2014, an increase from 46 the previous year, but it did not convict any traffickers.
As harrowing as these survivors’ experiences are, their bravery in overcoming their experience is truly inspirational. I cannot imagine the situations that they have been placed in, and the nightmare that was (or may still be) their lives.
You can do your part – by raising awareness of this and the great work Generation 414 is doing, by volunteering your time and skills to help Generation 414, by purchasing an item made by one of the courageous survivors, or by donating to support a survivor.
Please note, our #FortunateFriday posts are not sponsored. They are chosen to be featured by our team in consultation with our students, and they are chosen because we believe in what they do and want the world to know about them!
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‘Till our next #FortunateFriday feature, have a great week and remember to be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Your act of kindness could create immense change beyond your wildest imagination!
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