THE IRONY OF A GIFT BOX: THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY APPEAR TO BE

By Eucharia Ngozi Okoye, SNDdeN
During my visit to the Sisters of Notre Eucharia OkoyeDame de Namur Office at the United Nations, I had the opportunity to attend some of the events and committee meetings that our office participates in. One such meeting was the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons. I was also able to visit and reflectively read through the exhibition on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the third floor of the United Nations. Among the numerous human rights outlined in the declaration, one that especially struck me was Article four. It reads: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” It is quite disheartening that this Human Rights declaration has been infringed and is still being infringed on in various ways and means with slave labor, sex slaves, kidnapping, trafficking, etc.

Gift Box frontLastly, I visited a “UN GIFT Box” (www.ungift.org), an exhibition by the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons to portray scams used by human traffickers in luring unsuspecting victims into their heinous web. On the GIFT Box, people are promised heaven on earth which includes quality education, employment, food, good health, earn more money and support your family, life in abundance, etc. Once inside the box, visitors are exposed to the reality of false promises that can result in human trafficking. It involves exploitation in many forms: child soldiers, forced child labor, compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography, forcing victims into prostitution, and subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude. Making Gift Box insideillicit money and amassing wealth to the detriment of other peoples’ rights and freedoms in turn jeopardizes and ruins their future. 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.

  • Look out for the “fair trade” logo when you purchase products like coffee, chocolate and others. Fair trade products are items produced with raw materials not sourced using child labor, slave labor or the exploitation of the local people from where the raw materials are produced.
  •  Using different modes of communication like tweets, blogs, Facebook, and other electronic communication, speak up against the evils of human trafficking, child labor, and slave labor.
  • Create awareness of issues of human trafficking in our schools, parishes and youth groups.
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4 Responses

  1. Thank you Jean and Eucharia for giving us this information which is so full of sadness and yet so fruitful for me to become aware of the great need to help to eradicate this form of evil and slavery.

  2. Thank you Sister Jo-Ann Flora for giving me such helpful information. I send you my love and prayers for all that you are doing to raise our awareness.
    Mary Cluderay s.n.d

  3. Thankyou Jean and Eucharia for this info which I shall forward to my friends . Here in Glasgow Scotland, we had these boxes distributed around the busy streets during the Commonwealth Games in 2014 . Sisters of Notre Dame , with organisers and others helped ‘ man ‘ them. They proved popular and many valued the raising of awareness of Trafficking especially during the Games.

    • Thank you sister Maureen, it is quite encouraging that we are trying in different ways and places in creating awareness about modern way of human trafficking . May our good God strengthen us and bless our efforts.

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