Fair Trade Friday - Red Thread Movement

I'm about to make your morning a little harder, and I'm sorry about that.  But, there's a huge issue in our modern world today, one that I've mentioned before.  It's so glaringly huge, and impossible to keep silent once you know about it, yet it receives little to no media attention.  Human Trafficking and modern day slavery is a horrible fact, and as a professing Christian, I am compelled to share that fact with you.  I cannot let people trapped in a voiceless position just suffer while I keep silent.  Here are 10 facts from a great company's website (more on them in a second!) about trafficking in our world today:

More people are in slavery today than at the height of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Kevin Bales; Free the Slaves).
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world (United States Department of Health and Human Resources).

Human trafficking is the world's 2nd largest criminal enterprise behind narcotics (U.S. State Department).

There are 20.9 million people in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world (Trafficking in Persons Report, 2012).

Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are female... up to 50% are minors  (U.S. State Department).

Child trafficking is an over $12 billion a year industry, with over 2 million victims (UNICEF).

The average age of entry into the sex trade industry is 13 years old  (U.S. Department of Justice).

There are nearly 300,000 children at risk every year  for commercial sexual exploitation (U.S. Department of Justice).

An estimated 100,000 minors are in the commercial sex trade in the United States alone (Polaris Project).

By age 16, approximately 60% of Nepalese girls in the brothels in Mumbai have contracted HIV (K.I.NEPAL).

The numbers are staggering.  I am at a loss as to how to process some of these figures through my mind.  And it almost seems like too big an injustice to take on.  But thankfully, God is working through so many amazing people and companies to combat this evil.  The company I'd like to share with you today is called the Red Thread Movement, and they are doing amazing things.  On top of that, they're offering some amazing products for sale on their website, the proceeds of which help to support girls in Nepal that have been rescued from this life.

RTM Red Thread Bracelet

This is the original bracelet.  This little red woven bracelet serves three functions:

1. Provides a Fair Trade income for the rescued girls who weave the bracelets.

2. Additional proceeds fund anti-trafficking border units and safe houses through the work of a Nepalese NGO, K.I. NEPAL.

3. Wearing the bracelet generates awareness and proclaims sex trafficking as a human rights' crime.

I really love this photo from the company's website showing how they're woven:

There's more than just bracelets available too!  This next one's my favorite:

RTM Chiffon/Cotton Tank
I swear, I am always on the hunt for a great drapey tank top, and this one is perfect.  It's a nice light cotton, with a great chiffon back available in three different prints.  Plus, it's only $18!  If you ever want to get me a present... ahem, *cough cough, mr. hubby* this would be a good idea.

RTM Free Her necklace
This last little necklace is actually made by girls in another country, Mongolia, that have likewise been rescued from a life they most likely didn't choose for themselves.  And the simple phrase on the pendant, "Free Her," speaks volumes to what Red Thread Movement's products are trying to do!

There are even more lovely products available in RTM's shop, so the next time the shopping bug hits (and for me, that's all the time!), check out their products!

For more information and resources concerning human trafficking, try these other organizations:

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