National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition defines Human Trafficking as the recruitment, transport, sale, or receipt of persons within or across national borders through force, fraud, or coercion to place the persons in slavery or slavery-like work conditions. Traffickers use violence, threats, blackmail, false promises, deception, manipulation, and debt bondage to trap vulnerable individuals in horrific situations. https://patcoalition.org/

In short, it is slave trading and is a horrific crime and violation of human rights where a person is exploited into slave labor or sexual exploitation. It is also considered a hidden crime because victims frequently do not seek help due to language barriers, fear of their traffickers, or fear of law enforcement.

Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” NO ONE, not one person. One person is too many.

“A common misconception about human trafficking is that it does not happen in the United States. This is false, as the United States is ranked as one of the worst countries globally for human trafficking. It is estimated that 199,000 incidents occur within the United States every year.” https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/human-trafficking-statistics-by-state

One of the most descriptive, true stories I’ve found on the topic of sex trafficking is a book titled “I Am not Your Slave” by Chris Lockhart and Tupa Tjipombo. Tupa Tjipombo is the pseudonym of a Nambian woman from South Africa who was trafficked by an evil network across the continent of Africa up to the United Arab Emirates into the hands of a “collector”.

Tjipombo thought that putting the descriptive truth out for people to read would be much more impactful towards eliminating this horrific crime than just a statistic on a page. In my opinion, she was correct. Her story was very difficult to confront and believe that this type of evil exists in our world today. It definitely inspires a person into action! Her perpetrators included individuals from various countries including the United States of America where slavery was “abolished” in 1865. You can find a full interview with Lockhart and Tjipombo here: https://www.thefirestone.org/2020/07/20/we-touch-the-world-and-the-world-touches-us/

Another form of human trafficking is labor trafficking and debt bondage. Harold D’Souza, founder of Eyes Open International, has dedicated his life to ending this modern-day slavery because he knows how much the victims suffer–he once was one.

Originally from India, D’Souza is well-educated and experienced in sales management. He has a Bachelor’s in Business and a Master of Commerce from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. Harold stepped down from a senior management position in order to pursue the American Dream which he believed was within his reach. Harold came to the U.S. following the advice and encouragement of a man who would soon after becoming his trafficker. For over 18 months, Harold was exploited and tortured at the hands of the human trafficker, losing his freedom and struggling to keep his family safe.

D’Souza is an example of turning obstacles into opportunities. United States President Barack Obama appointed him to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking in 2015 and he continued his service under President Trump through July 2020. D’Souza is also an expert consultant to the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. To listen to more of his story, click here: https://www.thefirestone.org/the-podcasts/  scroll to Episode 13.

There is currently a Bollywood Blockbuster Film being made on D’Souza’s slavery nightmare. Actor Martin Sheen is the Executive Producer of the documentary titled “To Be Free” which is produced and directed by Benjamin Ryan Nathan.

Tjipombo and D’Souza are true Human Rights Heroes! Their strength, courage, fight for freedom and pure greatness are an inspiration for all human beings. Let’s join together with these heroes and put an END to the atrocity of modern-day slavery.

 

What can you do about it?

 If you suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking in the US, call the National Hotline immediately: 1-888-373-7888.

Another action you can take is to visit the US Department of State’s website for 20 ways you can help fight human trafficking. https://www.state.gov/20-ways-you-can-help-fight-human-trafficking/

For information on how to educate others on this and all their 30 human rights along with suggestions for taking action, click here: https://www.humanrights.com/take-action/get-active.html

The Right to Know the Impact of What’s in Our Food

The Right to Know the Impact of What’s in Our Food

We all have the right to food! We also have the right to know the definition of food, the purpose of food, and the impact of each of the ingredients in our food. For that, we need to be educated—most likely, self-educated.

Food, noun is defined as:

  1. material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy
  2. nutriment in solid form (more or less solid nourishment, as distinguished from liquids)
  3. something that nourishes, sustains or supplies

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/food

 Nourish, verb is defined as:

  1. nurture; rear
  2. to promote the growth of
  3. to furnish or sustain with nutriment: FEED

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nourish

What should we be feeding ourselves and our families to ensure optimal health?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, presents overall guidance in choosing nutrient-dense food and beverages in place of less healthy choices.  The guidelines recognize that individuals ultimately decide what and how much to consume. However, it also states that health professionals, communities, businesses and industries, government and other segments of society all have a role to play in supporting individuals and families in making choices that align with the Dietary Guidelines and ensuring that all people have access to a healthy and affordable food supply.¹ 

Some nutrient-dense foods, like fruit, have a sweet taste and also contain fiber which we need. However, highly processed foods and added sugar are not nutrient-dense and are not part of a healthy lifestyle.

Danger in our Food

Harvard Health published an article titled “The Sweet Danger of Sugar” in November 2019. It said that too much added sugar can be one of the most dangerous threats to cardiovascular disease. Added sugar is sugar that manufacturers add to products to enhance flavor or extend shelf life. The article went on to say that in the American diet, the top sources are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy and most processed foods.²

Even though there are more and more studies on the danger of sugar, you will find it in many items on grocery store shelves. The World Health Organization is challenging us to eat no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Could you imagine putting 6 teaspoons of added sugar into your mouth each day? Even that seems like a lot!

Sugar conversion:

1g = 4 calories

4g = 1 tsp

12g = 1 tbsp

According to Eric Edmeades, designer of The Immunity Blueprint, sugar stimulates appetite and suppresses the immune system. It is a leading cause in today’s Diabesity epidemic in the United States. Added sugar has been linked to a number of health issues including: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, dementia and even cancer. If you think that artificial sweeteners are a good substitute, think again. Dr. Marlene Merritt, author of Smart Blood Sugar, says most artificial sweeteners, such as Aspartame, are nothing more than toxic junk.

If you really want that sweet taste, Healthy Keto Expert, Dr. Eric Berg, DC, recommends “good sweeteners” such as:  Xylitol (non-GMO), Erythritol (non-GMO), Stevia and Monk Fruit.³ He also suggests the herb gymnema for those who need help to control sugar cravings.⁴

Interesting to note, the United States spends more on healthcare per capita (per person) than any other country in the world⁵ yet the US does not even rate in the top 10 healthiest countries.⁶ These are clear indications that something needs to change.

What actions can we take?

Read the labels! Educate yourself on the ingredients in the food you are consuming.

In summary, 1. know the purpose of food: to nourish an organism in order to sustain life. 2. consume nutrient-dense foods (if possible, work with a nutritionist to come up with the best plan for you or check with your PCP) 3. do your best to eliminate added sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet. AND, 4. help educate others to do the same.  

Take responsibility for your nourishment. Contribute to a more healthy, free world for us all.

 

References:

¹https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/DGA_2020-2025_ExecutiveSummary_English.pdf

²https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-added-sugar-who-six-teaspoons-per-day-20140305-story.html#:~:text=The%20World%20Health%20Organization%20is%20challenging%20you%20to,daily%20calories%20come%20in%20the%20form%20of%20sugar.

³https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jROu0Mo3A9M&t=23s

https://www.drberg.com/blog/gymnema-herb-the-best-herb-for-sugar-and-carb-cravings

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-highest-healthcare-expenditures-in-the-world.html

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/10-healthiest-countries-in-the-world.html#:~:text=1%20Spain%20is%20considered%20to%20be%20the%20healthiest,in%20the%20country%20during%20the%20past%20several%20years.

 

Disclaimer: This blog page and website are for educational and general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, prescription or recommendation. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or changing your health regimen or diet.