Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SweatFree Communities

This arrived in my in-box today. If you have a minute, please vote

Your vote for SweatFree Communities for a human rights award can also bring justice to workers in China. Both are within reach and you can make it happen if you vote by October 5. We just need your attention for one minute.

In May an investigation commissioned by the Milwaukee Clean Clothes Campaign revealed severe labor violations in a factory in China that supplies a major police uniform brand seeking a Milwaukee contract. Thanks to its sweatfree policy, the City requires not just legal minimum wages for workers but non-poverty wages that are almost twice as high. However, the investigation showed that some workers earn less than even the legal minimum.

Now the company has disclosed payroll information for 20 workers they say would make the Milwaukee police uniforms, indicating that they are paid nearly twice what other workers receive. Workers in China are often coached to lie to auditors and sometimes factories keep double books. The only way to find out whether the company is telling the truth is to talk to the workers and earn their trust. That takes time and costs money.

We are not asking you for money. We are asking for your vote. SweatFree Communities has a very good chance to win Global Exchange's Human Rights Hero competition which carries a $1,000 prize. Currently we're third in the competition and we need your help to push us over the top.

If we win, we will use the award to fund an independent investigation of the company's wage claims. Whatever the result, the investigation will be a win for workers. Either this company has done what no other has ever done before: doubling wages to qualify for a sweatfree contract and thereby proving they can make a profit AND pay workers a living wage. That should be celebrated as a first step to decent wages in the global economy. Or we will have the evidence to eliminate an undeserving bidder from the competition for public contracts.

Vote SFC. Help bring justice to workers.

Thank you,
Bjorn Claeson
Executive Director

PS. Remember to vote by October 5. After you vote, make sure to click the link in the automated email that you'll receive to confirm your vote.

Use facebook to spread the word - post this note in your profile:

I voted for SweatFree Communities as my Human Rights Hero. Want to help stop sweatshops? Vote by October 5th:

PPS. Planning to attend the National SweatFree Summit (Nov. 6-8 in Washington D.C.)? Please register soon! Need a travel scholarship? Contact us for more info.Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So True

Sarah added this quote at the bottom of the agenda for last night's WWCAHT meeting. So true...

Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of a man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself.

~Abraham Lincoln

Perhaps trafficking wouldn't be an issue if we took traffickers and instead of putting them in prison right away we made them live the life of a slave for a few monhts...

Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today in History

*On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863.*
(from today's New York Times online)

If only that worked world-wide and there weren't any slaves... anywhere... ever again. It is what we work toward, strive for and pray over constantly. One thing I learned this weekend - where governments step in and actually enforce the laws they have, trafficking drops dramatically. The specific example given was in Cambodia. Since enforcing their laws regarding trafficking, child slavery, etc., trafficking in children has dropped 70%. Seventy percent. For every 100 children who would have been trafficked today - 70 of them are safe.

Those who are continuing the battle against this evil got out of bed this morning determined to make it 100 out of 100. You can help. Don't hesitate to ask me how.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fabric of Life

Have you heard about Carol? I don't know much about her yet but I do know this - she is dedicated to the girls of Mali, Africa and the school her Foundation runs. Fabric of Life (a dba of Schillios Develoment Foundation) is dedicated to cooperative partnerships that improve people's access to affordable credit, education and health care. (I took that right off the website...)

Fabric of Life's Hèrè jè project assists Mali girls who are otherwise left begging in the streets for money with life skills - skills training, health and nutrition, AIDS education, etc.

Carol has been living on the roof of her store since August 23rd. Her goal is to raise $1 million for the Hèrè jè Center. If you feel led, don't hesitate to help! After watching her story on King 5, she strikes me as someone who is incredibly grateful to those who do.

Her living on the roof: Up on the roof with Carol

Proverbs 31:8-9

Film, Faith & Justice Festival

Film, Faith & Justice Festival Benefit

Canlis Restaurant
2576 Aurora Ave. N
Seattle, WA

Date: Sunday, October 11, 2009

Time: 6 pm to 9 pm

Cost: $50

*Proceeds will help fund the festival as well as portions going to
International Rescue Committee (IRC)-Seattle &
International Justice Mission (IJM)

Both organizations helps victims of slavery & human trafficking

Benefit Registration -
Benefit website -
Film, Faith, & Justice Festival website -

Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, September 11, 2009

Department of Labor Report

The Department of Labor has issued a report on International Child Labor and Forced Labor.

For more information and to read the entire report, please click the links below.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Attorney's View

This link was sent to me via email today. It is an article written by Scott Leist. The biographical paragraph at the bottom of the article says Mr. Leist " a former Seattle Police Officer who became a lawyer in 2000. He spent several years at a large Seattle law firm and then joined the King County Prosecutor's office where he practiced in the Criminal Division until 2008 when he joined IJM..."

Please take a few moments to read the whole piece. It is thought-provoking and I believe Mr. Leist has made some imperative points to consider. It has me thinking.

Coming to Kenya

Proverbs 31:8-9