Latest RAGAS News editions

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  Month Content
72 January January is “Slavery and Human Trafficking Month” in the USA.  A time, as Editor Mark suggests to join the Action Group. This month’s edition supports that. It is packed with illuminating and emotive content including Gary Haugen’s conversation with Sallyann Price in the February edition of the Rotarian – a must read, and watch for those of you who are keen to understand the issues relating to modern slavery and Rotary’s unique role in combating this heinous crime.

Watch this short trailer of the half hour documentary film Face to Face with Slavery, produced by two volunteer film makers, Cassie and Jordan who travelled to Free the Slaves front line community projects in Asia and Africa and crafted a poignant story of their journey to reveal the brutality of slavery and show case the courage of those activists who are working on the front line to overcome it. The full documentary has been added to our Resource Page or you can watch it here

Be moved by this BBC Radio 4 interview with ‘Anna’ who was held captive and subjected to sadistic sexual and psychological abuse for the next 13 years in the UK! Pastor Heidi McGinness Director of Outreach, Christian Solidarity International pens an emotive article Freed from Jihadi Slavery in Sudan.

Founder Member Carol Metzker, provides a further update on the amazing Schools 4 Freedom project in India, supported by RAGAS. You can view the full report by clicking on our case study page

73 February IJM rescues 24 boys in Ghana; Relaxation of the Dodd-Frank Law in the US could undo protection afforded to mine workers in the Congo; Laura Dryjanska, our Coordinator for Italy updates us on anti-slavery awareness programmes;   Laura McCartan, of the Rosie May Foundation provides an insight into their wonderful work in Nepal where it looks to protect vulnerable children, by breaking the cycle of poverty, and providing quality education; Lynne Symonds, Founder of the Wulugu Project looks at Tackling slavery at its Roots in Ghana – they are seeking funding; The Walk Free, the anti-slavery organisation,  is re-launching itself under a new name – see its short launch video: Freedom United; Finally, but not least RAGAS is proud to introduce Professor Philip Frankel as RAGAS Coordinator for Southern Africa. Welcome, and thanks for taking on the challenge in Africa Phillip.
74 March This month’s 12 page Newletter features articles from most corners of the globe. Read about the scandal of children as young as 4 mining cobalt in the Congo for our smartphones – view video, and yet US regulations (known as the Conflict Minerals Rule) designed to protect people from being exploited for commercial gain are to be relaxed under a US Executive Order – Concerned? Write to President Donald Trump at The White House. Dr George Belitsos and his Rotary Club of Ames, District 6000, USA champion anti-slavery initiatives.  Clarissa Anderson, introduces Members to the great work undertaken by anti-slavery charity ‘YouCanFreeUs‘ and appeals to Clubs to support an appeal to help fund a mini-bus to transport women from their safe houses to their rehabilitation training centre – Contact Mark Little if you can help.  Volunteer Rotaractor Alexandra Bannon, Rotaract Club of Norwich UK meets up with New Zealand Rotaractors in Cambodia and Thailand to work with Project Starfish’s Rescue Mission for Children Centre in Mae Suai, Thailand. Newly appointed RAGAS Coordinator for Southern Africa Professor Philip Frankel, RC of Rosebank provides a frightening insight into the ‘Dark and unseen scourge of human trafficking in South Africa‘ and how a new law styled the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act (PACOTIP) is an important step forward. RAGAS Member Malcolm Baird, RC of Brighton North, District 9800, Victoria, Australia pens a thought provoking piece entitled ‘So What Can Rotarians Do to Help Alleviate Modern Slavery?’  Malcolm’s full paper is shown in the Annex, with a link to a short video produced by the Freedom Fund ‘An introduction to Modern Slavery‘.  Lina Permut outlines the programs Free The Slaves undertake in Ghana, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, India, and Nepal and suggest some projects Rotarians and Clubs may wish to support   Details of RAGAS attendance at RIC 17 Atlanta.
75 April  RAGAS News leads us into details of our presence at RI Convention, in Atlanta. Details are provided about our Candlelight Vigil,  Breakout Session, Business Meeting and of course when you can visit us at Booth 2926.  It includes short reports about the horror of West Africans sold in Libyan Slave Markets, and Slavery in Dagestan, Russia. Finally there is an excellent article by Doug Malcolm  on his exciting initiative – to create a National Art Competition, Paint4Freedom to help inform the Australian public about the scourge of human trafficking and slavery.
76 July Mark Little and Carol Metzker recount and celebrate the extensive exposure given to the evils of slavery and human trafficking at the RI Convention in Atlanta. There’s a report from Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on best practice in tackling supply chain audit for large companies entitled “Business Actions Against Forced Labour“. We welcome three new US RAGAS Coordinators and another for NE India. Ken McEntee President Rotary Club of Strongsville, Ohio USA brings attention to alleged atrocities undertaken by UN Peacekeeping Forces and urges Rotary International to use its vast influence with the United Nations to put a stop to the evil being done by its “peace” keeping forces in various war zones – but will this happen? POLARIS have created a structured analysis of the 25 types of slavery entitled ‘The Typology of Modern Slavery‘ – the report offers a map for taking the next steps in creating a world without slavery.  Matt Friedman provides the Mekong Business Club’s video providing an insight into the tools it offers in helping business fight the business of slavery in Asia.
77 August Mat Friedman comments on the latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2017 which offers an in-depth and country-by-country evaluation of anti-trafficking efforts and their efficacy. TIP suggest that the Government of North Korea “sponsors human trafficking through its use of forced labor overseas worth $120m pa to the Government. Profile of RAGAS Coordinator for Canada Rob MacArthur. How to spot a trafficked victim and to ask the right follow up questions. More Clubs are developing programmes to create awareness. Project opportunity – help buy a Minibus for YouCanFreeUs, an anti-slavery organization based in Mumbai which rescues women and children who are trapped in slavery and commercial sexual exploitation.
78 September Recent initiatives to tackle and promote Slavery & Human Trafficking in the US. India and the UK;  RAGAS welcomes PDG Maria Rita Acciardi –RC of Corigliana-Rossana Sybaris, D2100 who takes over from  Dr Laura Dryjanska as Ragas’ Coordinator for Italy, following Laura’s transfer to the USA;  Dr Aidan McQuade, retiring Director of Anti-Slavery Internation (ASI) talks about ASI’s Anti-Slavery Charter; UK Prime Minister, Theresa May hosted an event at the United Nations General Assembly during which 37 governments committed to a Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: UK Government commit £20 million ($27 million) to the Global Fund
79 November India criminalizes sex with underage girls ; Fruit pickers exploited in Victoria, Australia; Exploitation of ASEAN domestic workers;  Freedom United’s Petition calls on the Mauritanian government to relocate anti-slavery activists Moussa and Abdellahi whilst awaiting their hearing by the Supreme Court; RAGAS US DIrector, Dave McCleary & Laura Dryjanska attend Freedom from Slavery Forum in Palo Alto, California; George Shelley, of Anti-Slavery International, talks about, and invites support for their project work in Tanzania, which helps children who fall into domestic slavery.
80 December Features information about the exploitation of people in Bangladesh and Libya, proposals to establish new anti-slavery laws in Australia and anti-slavery project opportunities in Zambia, India and Nepal.  RAGAS working with Freedom United to engage Rotary Clubs to join  ‘Freedom Rings‘. UN Security Council Resolution on Human Trafficking.

Local Newsletter are also published by some of our Members. View them by clicking on a link below …

District 9810 (Victoria, Australia) produces an End Slavery newsletter for Club Members. Editor Tony Stokes.