What we are about
Although focused on the world’s enslaved and at risk children, RAGAS recognises this is but part of the global challenge. It therefore works closely with organisation dedicated to ending human trafficking and the enslavement of adults. A listing of many of these organisations can be found on our Links page.
Our primary remit, within the Rotary International framework, is to work with the worlds 1.3 million Rotarians and their Clubs. We do this by providing a free subscription to our Newsletter, encouraging Action Group Members and District Governors to convey to fellow Members, their friends, families, and business associates the reality of modern slavery, and how they can take action to bring this to an end.
Supporting awareness campaigns
Rotarians in isolation cannot bring an end to modern slavery. By working collectively and collaboratively with our elected representatives, NGO’s and multinational agencies, we will progressively turn the tide by tightening legislation, this will make it harder for traffickers to do business, and we will do so by creating well-resourced anti-slavery and human trafficking programmes.
To this end RAGAS will directly campaign or support other activist organisations in fighting for action that will lead to a reduction in, and ultimately end, the trade in human souls.
Why not lend your support and help End Slavery Now?
- If you are Rotarian, a family member, a Rotaractor or Rotary Alumina you are eligible to be a Member of RAGAS. Check out how to join here.
- If you are in business, particularly in manufacturing, check your supply chains and claim credit for producing goods that are slave free.
- Anyone, or any organisation is invited to either sponsor or contribute to our supported projects bringing hope and a new life for generations to come. See our Donations page, or contact Stephen, our Treasurer, if you need help in finding a project to support in your own name.
Donations to projects qualifying for Rotary Foundation assistance can be uplifted by 50%, and if you are a USA Citizen or Corporate you can obtain US IRS tax benefits though our RI (End Slavery Now) Donor Advised Fund.
Currently RAGAS identifies potential projects that will support potential or actual victims of this heinous crime. It also looks to support preventative programmes, such as the Schools4Freedom project, and the upcoming intelligence STOP APP using IBM based systems being developed by Stop the Traffik.
In many instances, Rotary Clubs will initiate potential projects and will seek support from RAGAS in promoting the project to gain financial and other support through is global reach. RAGAS also encourages support for projects organised by other organisations that meet RAGAS criteria.
Our history and development
RAGAS, formally recognised as a Rotarian Action Group by the Rotary International (RI) Board in January 2013. Our genesis – Rotarians Against Child Slavery (RACS) was formed in 2009 at the RI Convention in Birmingham, England, when Mark Little, supported by Stephen Sypula, Harry Payne, moved to put slavery back on RI’s agenda. With the support of all DG in RIBI, and motions to two Councils of Legislation, the dissolution of slavery was once again at the forefront of Rotary International’s goal.
Since our formation RAGAS have attracted support from Rotarians in some 65 countries. Collectively some £200,000 or $US $350,000 has been raised to fund a range of projects as will be seen in the Treasurer’s last Financial Report.
RAGAS has organised or been invited to milestone ‘summit‘ type meetings and provided evidence to Governments. By way of example Coordinator for the US, Dave McCleary organised a World Summit on Ending Human Trafficking with President Jimmy Carter and his Foundation, at which Past RI President KR Ravindran (Ravi) was a guest speaker;
Laura Dryjanska, our Coordinator in Italy was invited to attend Pope Francis’ first Vatican (Santa Marta) Conference on Human Trafficking; RAGAS Chair Mark Little together with RAGAS Board Judith Diment, Rotary International Representative to the Commonwealth of Nations both attended spoke and gave evidence to the second Santa Marta Conference in London, at which Past President John Kenny represented Rotary International.
As may be appreciated, in just three years since its inception RAGAS has punched well above its Membership weight and is really making a difference. We hope to sponsor a slavery and human trafficking debate at the United National (UN) Rotary Day. Sign up now, help us grow and help the world End Slavery Now.
RAGAS is headquartered in the UK. Our global reach is supported by its active volunteer Coordinators and growing army of Ambassadors. These are based in the US, Italy, South Africa, India, Australia, and Oceania (New Zealand) – see contact details. RAGAS is seeking to extend its reach with more Coordinators and District Ambassadors. It you would like to join our growing reach and help extend Rotary’s impact please contact Secretary Harry.