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Cassandra Clifford
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

SlaveryFootprint.org, an anti-slavery resource site for consumers, launched last Thursday.  The site was developed by the California-based Fair Trade Fund, best known for its "Call + Response" film and ChainStoreReaction.com site.  The new project was funded by a State Department grant and is designed to give consumers personalized information about the products they consume that are most likely to involve slave labor.

Global Anti-Slavery Action Map Advances Fight Against Human Trafficking
Anti-trafficking advocates now have an interactive system available to map field activity, dubbed the "Action on the Ground" project map.  The mapping system was created by Washington, DC-based group End Slavery Now (ESN).  Many prominent anti-slavery groups have already used the system to share information about their projects, including Free the Slaves, Polaris Project, Shared Hope International and International Justice Mission.  The goal of the project is to help movement leaders identify where effective work is being done and where there are gaps that need to be filled.

House Bill Proposed to Upgrade Human Trafficking to Violent Crime Status
U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and John Carter (R-TX) proposed new legislation that would require state and local governments to report statistics about human trafficking in order to be eligible for certain federal assistance.  The existing reporting requirements cover murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.  The proposal comes after the U.S. State Department 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report found a need for improved data collection.
The Clinton Global Initiative held an annual meeting Tuesday-Thursday of last week, featuring a panel discussion on human trafficking. The panel included MTV, the Body Shop and a student activist.  The discussion including a range of projects focused on countering human trafficking, including mtvU's Against Our Will Campaign, a petition organized by The Body shop that now includes over 7 million signatures, and work of the Alliance To Stop Slavery And End Trafficking to involve business leaders in the movement.

On Monday U.N. General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser called for increased efforts to combat human trafficking.  Al-Nasser addressed a meeting of Group of Friends United Against Human Trafficking.  This group had made prior international progress on the issue last year by negotiating and passing by consensus a comprehensive UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and by advancing the creation of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking.  The group reported it has expanded its international efforts with the opening of new offices in Vienna and Geneva.  The meeting resulted in a Ministerial Declaration focusing on implementation of existing policy. 

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