International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

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Every year on August 9th, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a holiday founded for the purpose of promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples across the globe. There are an estimated 370 million people belonging to indigenous groups, making up about 5% of the world’s total population. Indigenous populations are usually defined as culturally distinct peoples that have deep ancestral roots to a region. Many of the 5,000 remaining indigenous populations living in 90 different countries have been marginalized and threatened by colonizing groups, and are still fighting for their right to ancestral land, and to live freely according to their traditions. In recent decades, indigenous populations have played a crucial role in creating and guiding environmentalist movements.

This year, the holiday’s theme is, “Bridging the Gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples.” According to the U.N.’s website, the theme “highlights the importance of implementing the rights of indigenous peoples through policies and programs at both the national and international level.” On Friday, August 8th, the U.N. will host a discussion panel in NYC that will be available for live stream between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. Promotion for the rights of indigenous peoples will continue next month with the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples on September 22nd and 23rd.

Global Goods Partners cares greatly about the survival and revitalization of indigenous peoples. Many of our partners, including Artesania Sorata, Alma de los Andes, AAA, Omba Arts Trust, Pampa Brava, MWEDO, Aj Quen, Uniqueland, and CREATA, work directly with indigenous women and their communities in order to improve their social and political standings in their respective countries, and in order to revive their pre-colonial cultural heritages through the creation of products that reflect aspects of their traditional beliefs, practices, and aesthetics. Buying fair trade products from these organizations gives them the financial means necessary to build their communities, and subsequently strengthen their cultural, linguistic, and ethnic presence in their homelands.

 

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

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July 30th marks the United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The international holiday is held for the purpose of educating people around the world about the gravity and prevalence of human trafficking. According to Free the Slaves, there are between 21 and 30 million men, women, and children currently enslaved. Slavery is illegal in every country; nonetheless, people are captured and sold as slaves in almost every country around the world. This makes the human trafficking industry is the second largest illegal industry in the world ranked only behind the drug trafficking industry.

Most modern-day slaves come from Eastern Europe and the global south, where high rates of poverty, low rates of literacy and education, and a lack or absence of women’s rights make millions vulnerable. However, millions of impoverished men, women, and children in wealthy nations will also fall victim to trafficking every year.

Women and girls are most frequently targeted as slaves, making up 75% of trafficked persons. Often, they are sold into the illegal sex trade, where they have no access to healthcare, wages, or education. Many of Global Goods’ partners, including Destiny Reflection, Friends International, and Borderline, work tirelessly to reduce the risk of sex trafficking in their communities.

Efforts are made around the world to end human trafficking. The first step that everyone can take in putting a stop to this illegal and inhumane business is by becoming educated about it. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Free the Slaves provide information about trafficking, and what can be done to end it. You can spread this information and show your support for victims of trafficking through UNODC’s social media campaign. And of course, you can directly support those vulnerable to trafficking, and discourage big business from using slave labor, by buying fair trade.