Truthout

Human Trafficking

“This is not some speculative, crackpot conspiracy theory: White men in the United States really are receiving government and private funds that they’re failing to fully account for to arrest or detain women with little regard to their needs or interests; some are even doing so as extremely well-funded and popularly supported guerrilla groups.” —The American Rescue Industry: Toward an Anti-Trafficking Paramilitary (April 2015)

“Slightly less than half of the top-earning anti-trafficking organizations in the United States claim to have saved 8,676 total individuals from sex trafficking: in other words, over four times as many victims as there were potential cases of both labor and sex trafficking investigated in the United States, at federal and state levels, in 2013.” —Money and Lies in Anti-Human Trafficking NGOs (January 2015)

The Garment Industry

“Meet the international working class—the faceless laborers that likely had a hand in stitching together your mid-range jeans, your jaunty parka, or your favorite silky smooth T-shirt: They are super giggly and sharing snacks in the back of a converted military pickup truck over their lunch break.” —Report from Cambodia’s Garment Factories (March, 2010)

“By the end of the four-week program, each of the 1,700 workers that participated took home five copies of the Cambodian Labor Law guide to share with a total of 8,500 friends. In total, Vaillancourt-Laflamme estimates, they reached around a quarter of the exporting garment factories that operate in the country.” —Garment Worker Open University (March, 2011)

“The real bad luck for Cambodia—and ethical apparel consumers, particularly in the US, where 70 percent of the goods produced are sold—is that thousands of workers falling ill on the job isn’t enough to catch the fashion industry’s attention.” —The Fashion Industry’s Perfect Storm (April, 2012)

“On January 3, in one of Cambodia’s several special economic zones, protesters gathered around 9 AM. At that time, as striking worker Kha Sei recalls, ‘The workers, who work with the garments, they stop working and they have the marching and dancing.’ He’s a young man in a bright red T-shirt, and he is livid. ‘Then the police come by truck and take out the guns and then fight the dancers.'” —What Price Workers’ Lives in Cambodia? (January, 2014)

Cambodian and American Culture

” ‘As a film director, I would like to just make films,’ Rithy Panh told me in an interview for Truthout shortly after he’d discovered that his film The Missing Picture been nominated for an Academy Award. ‘But the problem is that I am Cambodian.’ ” —A Very Small Satifaction: Rithy Panh on Cambodia’s Missing Pictures (March 2014)

“Whee! It’s all very sharable. ‘We have one point three million Twitter followers, and our videos might get viewed a couple of hundred thousand times,’ Young explains. So much fun! That I feel horrible for having to explain that, in fact, videos about naked ladies and white American kids do little to promote long-term access to clean drinking water in developing nations. The company defends these efforts as movement building, but without participants having any clear idea what change is necessary, who is implementing it, how it is being undertaken, and whether or not it works, it’s not a movement. It’s branding.” —The Problem with Charity:Water (January 2013)

“The Games have since grown in scope, popularity, and, following the invention of modern media, both “viewership” and “sponsorship” until 1998, when members of the IOC acknowledged they had taken bribes in exchange for selecting certain host cities. This proved to many that the Olympics is rigged from the start — and convinced the IOC to hire infamous PR firm Hill & Knowlton to manage its image.” —The Invisible Fourth Pillar (September, 2009)

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