January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and here at PURPOSE Jewelry we want to make sure everyone understands why we do what we do.
Human trafficking affects more people now than it ever has in the past, and it is imperative that we do everything in our power to protect the women and girls who are enslaved by traffickers.
PURPOSE Jewelry pieces are made by young women escaping human trafficking, and 100% of proceeds go to our non-profit, International Sanctuary, to provide them with education, work, and a safe environment.
Human Trafficking Today
Many people think that human trafficking is long gone, but that is far from the truth. Over 27 million people worldwide are trafficked today. About 80% of those trafficked are females, and more than half are children. Some girls are captured and sold as young as four years old, and are bought for an average of $90. Less than 1% of women sold into trafficking are ever rescued. Human trafficking is more common in impoverished countries, but it operates globally as a $32 million industry. In Bangladesh some parents are so poor they choose to sell their children into slavery. In the African nation of Mauritania human trafficking was legal until 1981. More people are trafficked within India's borders than anywhere else in the world.
Though the practice was abolished in the America over 100 years ago, thousands of people are still being trafficked into and out of the United States. Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received over 14,000 reports of human trafficking cases, and there are certainly thousands more of instances that go unreported.
PURPOSE Jewelry + International Sanctuary
The prevalence of human trafficking worldwide drives us to raise awareness and provide opportunities for those affected by human trafficking.
PURPOSE Jewelry was started so participants in our sanctuary in Mumbai, India could have a chance to learn a trade and make a personal income through ethically handmade jewelry.
With the help of our partner organizations, women are provided shelter, healthcare, clothing, food, and legal assistance after they are rescued or escape from their enslavement. They are then brought to International Sanctuary where they are taught many different skills in a safe and emotionally supportive environment. Our participants are taught jewelry making skills and are paid a fair wage for their work. We also provide long-term medical and dental care for our survivors, and with the money they earn from our employment program, participants can learn to save and live independently. This year we opened a private academy for these women and we are also aiming to have 10 sanctuaries around the world by 2020!
Make a Difference
Raising awareness for human trafficking is a great starting point for anyone hoping to make an impact. It is surprising how many people are unaware of the extent of human trafficking, and providing accurate information about the severity of the problem can lead to new approaches. Many countries could benefit from lobbying for political change in the way sexual crimes are enforced.
Donations to the International Sanctuary can be made here and there are many other organizations combatting human trafficking to consider. Forbes also has a list of other actions you may take to make a difference.
Additionally, purchases of PURPOSE Jewelry pieces directly support trafficking survivors, and the pieces make wonderful gifts. Every bit of help makes an impact for someone!