Help me Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.
April 16, 2008 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for an anti human trafficking/slavery group to work for this summer in South America. Can anyone offer any ideas or suggestions?

I am trying to research social justice groups in South America who are effectively serving and/or fighting for victims or potential victims of human trafficking and/or modern day slavery.

An ideal organization will either be likely to pay us (UN, or other well funded programs) or provide at least a bed... eg., a church without much money but can provide a home stay.

Organizations could range from a small town mom and pop shelter all the way to a huge international group. Note: there is no need to only look at groups that are currently looking for someone like me. This is going to be a non-traditional job experience, so I think I will be creating a job opening for myself.

Anyone have any experience with this, know of any organizations I can get in touch with?
posted by yoyoceramic to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by cda at 8:28 AM on April 16, 2008

You might try to get in touch with Equality Now in New York, as they do a lot of work with sex trafficking. They probably don't have a small-scale contact necessarily in South America, but they may be able to suggest places to get started. My EMail is in my profile - if you can't get in touch with Equality Now, I may be able to help (put you through to them, I mean).
posted by Slothrop at 9:07 AM on April 16, 2008

First, please take the extra step of looking at how inflated most figures of human trafficking are. Here is a brief Slate piece on a recent GAO report (available online) that casts some doubt on the most commonly cited numbers. Modern slavery happens, and it is very, very bad, but always be aware of how contested and how political the numbers are. A lot of the organizations ostensibly fighting trafficking are relying on some very dishonest figures, and on some very controversial definitions of what "trafficking" really is.

That said, there are a bunch of organizations doing really good work with sex workers (and note that "sex worker" is not synonymous with "trafficked" or "slave"). Here is an article on sex workers organizing in Brazil, which gives the names of a bunch of organizations involved, including umbrella associations like the National Network of Sex Professionals. A number of links are given at the end of the article, including that of Davida in Rio. A friend spent some time there, and tells me that she was really impressed with their work. One of their associated projects, Daspu, has some of the most awesome t-shirts I have ever seen, for sale at the "putique." (Some aspects of some links maybe NSFW, depending on where you work.)

Google searches like "Peru human trafficking," "Peru sex worker activism" and so on (substitute country names as desired) produce lots and lots of results, both grassroots and of programs from big funders like IDB. Here's an umbrella organization for sex workers in the region, for example; there are lots more. If you don't read Spanish and/or Portuguese, some of these links won't work so well, but then you'll have a trickier time working there, too.
posted by Forktine at 9:32 AM on April 16, 2008

I honesty think you might find it challenging to find paid employment right away in this field if you don't have a lot of prior experience.

Many of these types of organizations have very limited funding, and are not always able to "create job openings" as you suggest. As well, unless you are fluent in the local language, familiar with the culture, AND bring specialized skills to the table, you can see why they might be more inclined to hire locally.

I think an excellent alternative would be one of the many overseas volunteering programs out there. You do have to fundraise or pay to participate but they will give you a lot of assistance with accommodations/visas/travel arrangements.
posted by vodkaboots at 11:02 AM on April 16, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you for the responses, everyone. My friend asked me to pose this question to the MetaFilter community because he is aware of the high quality content this site generates.

I would also like to clarify that he is fluent in Spanish and would be open to a non-paid experience. Thanks!
posted by yoyoceramic at 12:24 PM on April 16, 2008

I just saw this mentioned on another thread about charities: International justice Mission
posted by cda at 3:19 PM on April 16, 2008

« Older Help me ID a modern song containing lyrics from...   |   economic struggle Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.