I hold my hands up high. I love the special things in life. Travel,good food,good wine,money in my purse.All the things that most of us think of as normal. Then the coin is flipped and I am reminded of the darker,more evil side of life.Our time in Spain often seems simple,somehow gentler,less materialistic ,less hurried than our life in the Uk. And yet when I I walk into the simplest white Cortijo for my weekly Yoga class and I am confronted by their next charity push I am driven to research three simple words....... Female human trafficking .
In the greenhouses in Almeria in the Southeastern part of Spain, illegal migrants live in shacks made of old boxes and plastic sheets without sanitation and access to clean running water, receive less than half the minimum wage, and harvest vegetables sold in supermarkets in other European countries.1
These are a few examples of the criminal exploitation involved in the trafficking in human beings ("THB"). The crime is severe and widespread, evoking violations of multiple fundamental rights. THB can take place for the purpose of sexual exploitation,labor exploitation, or the removal of organs. All these different forms of THB have their own dynamics, relevant actors, and stakeholders, and to some extent need to be addressed differently. Reliable figures are hard to come by, and there is no clear-cut line between trafficking and non-trafficking cases. Estimates on the number of trafficking cases vary,but the most recent estimate by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) claims that there are around 20.9 million victims of modern slavery worldwide at any time.2 The ILOestimates that 55 percent of the victims of forced labor are female, but in the case of victims of sex trafficking, that figure reaches 98 percent. The ILO figures also show that in Asia and the Pacific region, the number of trafficking victims remains high and that the number of victims from the African continent is on the rise.
Not so long ago I watched a programme where Ross Kemp was describing the same problem in the Uk. He had worked undercover to research how women in particular were being exploited and described his findings as " the tip of an iceberg"
That programme left me with a sense if disquiet and it often seems that unless you address a problem,even in a minuscule way, that problem will keep rising up to meet you.
It is hard to know whether anyone or anything can change such exploitation.... And it has to be in every persons " back yard"
But " here we go again. ..... Surely 1 person can make a difference." Well,I hope so. Anyone following my blog and my September challenge will know that I feel, I must believe even the smallest act can make a difference. My hook will be smokin' I would love to be brave enough to stare these evil people,who simply use women as commodities,in the eye and challenge their values. But, that will never happen. However, I will not ignore the plea from my yoga teacher to make a difference. I just hope it does.
In a few weeks time there is going to be a Yoga Open Day where all the money raised will go to help these women. So, I have made a start. Organic bamboo washcloths I crocheted when I was travelling with an organic tablet if soap tucked into their soft folds.
Some cotton Mandalas and 2 blankets I made during my last visit to our house in Spain. I did not have enough room to take them home in my suitcase and now they will provide some well deserved euros for such a worthwhile cause.
Just before I go and on a lighter note. Thank you so much for all the lovely comments welcoming me back to Blogland after my trip. It really is what makes blogging so special.
Love Linda x