stopping the slave trade in Libya

The rise in immigration and an increase in criminal activity are going hand in hand in Libya. Since immigrants are an especially vulnerable population with so many seeking asylum or other needs, criminals are more likely to target them. CNN released a report on the slave trade that is still occurring in Libya today. This report showed many people what is happening. With the influx of immigrants, it is important to see what efforts are being made in stopping the slave trade in Libya.

Libya has officially become a lawless state. The government has little to no control over what goes on, and criminals are taking advantage of this. Due to the large influx of vulnerable immigrants, the slave trade has now risen to an all-time high. Slavery has been outlawed in other countries; however, criminals don’t follow the rules. Dozen of people are still being auctioned off, some only being sold for $400. Immigrants often live in poverty and don’t what to do improve their conditions. Slave traders pick up on this vulnerability and use it to their advantage. Libya is the main transit point for immigrants that are trying to make it to Europe.

Stopping the Slave Trade in Libya

While looking at Libya and the events that are occurring there, a question arises: What efforts are being made in stopping the slave trade in Libya? The U.N. and the U.S. have been putting pressure on the government to investigate more into the crimes being committed. They urged Libya to take urgent action in these matters and to make it come to an end. So far, Libya went from not having the resources or support to track down these traffickers, to accusing and sanctioning six men. Since 150,000 immigrants cross into Libya each year, the U.N. involvement has been a huge milestone for Libya and those being sold into slavery.

Additionally, a new transit system has been put in place to make sure that immigrants are able to travel more safely. The more immigrants are provided safer ways to travel, the lesser the likelihood of being sold into slavery. At this new transit facility, run by the UNHCR, immigrants are not only being provided with safe shelter but also food, medical care and psychosocial support. UNHCR is bringing new hope for immigrants that are looking for a better life. It is a necessary facility that will bring international protection to those that are most vulnerable.

Many news outlets and people from different communities are now raising awareness on this topic. The more people to find out about what is being done in Libya, the more solutions can be found up and more actions can be taken. CNN is the original news outlet to exposed the slave trade that is happening in Libya. Afterward, more people started to take action and contribute to the conversation. By someone speaking out, it causes a ripple effect for organizations to come together and make a plan to help those being sold.

Canada is Providing a Refuge

Canada has taken action in making sure that those who were once former slaves are able to rebuild their lives. Providing the necessary housing and support can help those that fell victim to slavery to regain their life. More than 150 people who had immigrated to Canada were victims of the slavery that occurred in Libya. Canada will also be resettling another 600 people that are at risk of being sold into slavery. With the number continuously rising, Canada is doing it’s best to keep up with those that are seeking asylum and providing options for settlement.

Although the fight for stopping the slave trade in Libya is still raging on, new support systems are being brought in and making it so immigrants can feel safe. Governments, like in Canada, are now taking action, as well as organizations uniting together. The slave trade in Libya is still continuing today, but the situation in improving. By raising awareness about important topics such as this, it can act as a catalyst for other people to step in as well.

Hopefully, the immigrants and other vulnerable populations that are currently living through this tragedy can find some consolation in the fact that the world finally sees what is happening. The United Nations, the Libyan government and other organizations have dedicated their time to working towards one goal: stopping the slave trade in Libya. The measures that have been put forth thus far have already helped many people, and the next step in this journey is making sure that the rest people and immigrants of Libya are safe from slavery.

Emme Chadwick
Photo: Flickr

Water_QualityWater quality in the United States is considered to be one of the safest in the world. This is because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards and regulations on the presence and acceptable levels of over 90 different contaminants in public drinking water, including E.coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, metals and disinfection byproducts.

Elevated levels of contaminants like E.coli can cause gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems and neurological disorders in the immunologically comprised, such as infants, the elderly or individuals who are already ill.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also requires every community water supplier to provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report that includes information on the local drinking water quality, any contaminants found in the water supply and how consumers can get involved in protecting and upholding their water quality.

So how do water crises like the Flint water crisis, which drew national media coverage in January of this year, happen?

According to CNN, around two years ago, the state of Michigan decided to switch Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a local river notorious for being filthy. Residents of Flint did not believe the state government would actually go through with the switch, but they did, compromising the quality of drinking water available to the residents of the town.

The Flint River is highly corrosive and eroded the iron water mains as well as the lead service lines leading into residents’ homes, allowing near-toxic levels of iron and lead to enter the water (and the systems of anyone who dared drink the now-brown tap water).

Flint’s water crisis emphasizes the importance of activism at the individual level. Understanding where drinking water comes from and what constitutes good water quality in the United States is important, as is knowing how to contact your local representatives and voice your concerns.

If everyone was better informed about where his or her drinking water comes from, common water contaminants and symptoms of illnesses related to these contaminants, water crises like Flint could be avoided in the future.

Bayley McComb

Photo: Flickr

World Bank Seeks to Halve Global Poverty by 2020
On Wednesday, October 9, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said that the organization must seek to halve extreme poverty within the next seven years.

Although progress has been made in the past 20 years, further progress could be more difficult to accomplish. Most of the success in the reduction of poverty has been focused specifically in China, where regions such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa remain struggling. The World Bank has provided research showing that if developing countries exhibit historical growth rates for the next 20 years, global poverty would only fall to 8 percent by 2030.

In April, Kim set a goal to lessen the number of people in the world living on $1.25 a day from 18 percent to 3 percent by 2030. However, in an interview with CNN, he said that this figure would have to shrink to 9 percent by 2020 in order for the World Bank to stay on track. He takes full responsibility for setting this target.

To accomplish these ambitious goals, Kim claims that the bank is shaking up its procedures. He claimed that the bank would make $400 million in cuts to its administrative budget as it aims to be both more effective and dexterous. It plans to bring its disparate branches together in development projects that can have the greatest impact while also remaining valuable to middle-income countries. Kim said the reorganization should be finished by the bank’s next fiscal year, which starts in July 2014.

– Sonia Aviv

Sources: GMA NewsReutersHuffington Post
Photo: NY Times

Chefs of world leaders are teaming up to feed New York City’s hungry this year. These professional chefs are members of Le Club des Chefs de Chefs, the organization of chefs for the world’s leaders. They will be teaming up with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts to serve high quality food to more than 200 individuals in New York’s Xavier Mission. The 20 chefs involved will create food “fit for a king” and will use this special luncheon event as a way to highlight world hunger.

Some of the participating chefs include Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford, Chef to President Obama, and Chef Christian Garcia, president of the club and personal chef to Prince Albert II of Monaco. Other participating chefs hail from Canada, India, Denmark, France, and Italy, amongst several other nations.

On Saturday July 27, the chefs provided a variety of home-style cooking at Xavier Mission. 10 special dishes were featured and available to the residents of the mission. The next week, 16 restaurants of InterContinental will feature the dishes as part of their “Fit for Royalty” Menu. The proceeds from these menu items will be donated to local food banks. The menu will allow guests of the restaurants to sample what world dignitaries eat and, at the same time, draw attention to the world hunger.

Most importantly, these chefs are engaging in a new type of diplomacy by gastronomy. The world’s food issues are a topic that needs to be addressed everywhere. By combining their experience and collaborating on ideas, today’s chefs can urge world leaders to tackle global hunger. Moreover, as food experts, chefs can be leaders in the discussion on food and hunger.

In a compelling article on CNN’s Eatocracy, Chef José Andrés outlines why he believes that chefs should be involved in the fight against hunger. He suggests that food promotes a sense of fellowship that extends beyond borders. As experts of food, chefs can bridge the gap between world leaders using food as common ground.

Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself has said, “Better and more effective diplomacy can happen around a dining table than at a conference table.” Diplomacy by gastronomy has the ability to be a powerful tool in mobilizing the fight against world hunger. By sharing their recipes, 20 world leader’s chefs will be able to both feed the hungry and mobilize action against food insecurity.

– Grace Zhao

Sources: CNN Eatocracy
Sources: New York Times

Who Runs the World? Girls
‘Never stop trying.’ ‘Choose your own destiny.’ ‘Follow your heart’. These are the types of responses that prevailed when CNN asked people around the world to reflect upon the premiere of CNN Films’ upcoming documentary, “Girl Rising,” a powerful documentary that aims to prove how education can truly change the world, especially for young girls.

“Girl Rising” follows young girls from around the world in their quest to change their lives through education. Studies have shown that education can be “the most important factor in lifting a girl from poverty, mistreatment and drudgery into a fulfilling and rewarding life.” The CNN-sponsored documentary seeks to prove this idea through the personal triumphant success stories of real girls who are forging their paths in the world against all odds.

When asked to share their own advice, many people around the world wrote into CNN with personal stories of their own struggles and to show their support of the documentary’s message.

Most of the respondents were women like Meera Vijayann, who grew up in a small town in southern India and left her job at the city’s matchmaking and firework industries to pursue an education, finally succeeding in becoming a writer and nongovernmental organization worker. Irene Moreno Jimenez, whose remarkable late mother’s teachings and childhood in Mexico inspired her to dream big and value her mind as “the place where freedom is fought for—and won.”

Though the women who responded to CNN’s question hailed from different corners of the globe, their essential message was the same. These women’s tales encourage young girls and women to keep an open mind, not get discouraged by setbacks, and dare to dream.

What these women’s stories and “Girl Rising” hope to communicate is that education is more than the sum of its parts. Education is not merely a collection of diplomas or a good report card or an expensive textbook. Rather, education’s importance lies in its ability to allow girls to face the challenges that lie ahead of them with courage and determination.

“Girl Rising” aired on CNN On June 16th and features renowned actresses and writers including Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Selena Gomez.

– Alexandra Bruschi

Source: CNN, Women News Network
Photo: Raising Jane

Profile: the Better World Fund
The Better World Fund was founded in 1998 by media mogul, philanthropist, and humanitarian Ted Turner.  The man who brought us the cable station CNN started the Fund as an umbrella organization to facilitate public-private partnerships to address a range of global concerns, including health crises and environmental problems.  The fund also serves as an advocacy and outreach organization to support the work of the United Nations and to lobby for the US Government to provide political, financial and sometimes military support for UN humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts.

The major initiative of the Better World Fund is the Better World Campaign, whose publicity and advocacy work currently focuses on what the organization calls its “key issues.”  The top three of those issues are climate change, global health, and international security.

In each of these areas, the Better World Fund and the Better World Campaign work to build support for UN initiatives.  On climate change, they advocate for the adoption of the Copenhagen Accord, which establishes a registry to keep track of the ways that different nations are responding to climate change. The Accord also commits developed countries to provide up to $100 billion per year by 2020 to reduce emissions and take other measures to address climate change.

In the area of global health, the Better World Fund supports UN education and treatment efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria, and it supports vaccination efforts to eradicate polio.  In the area of international security, the Fund advocates for UN efforts to end nuclear proliferation, to combat international terrorism, and to enforce maritime laws governing the activities of governments and businesses, and the management of marine natural resources.

The Fund’s Board of Directors includes former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, civil rights leader Andrew Young, and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan.

– Délice Williams
Source: Better World Campaign, Charity Navigator
Source: Glogster