Latest RAGAS News editions

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Carol Metzker’s first edition as editor features articles on Mark Little (Founder Chair and past Newsletter editor) and another thanking retired RAGAS Secretary Harry Payne for helping to build RAGAS into what it is today.

There are articles on the launch of the Commonwealth Anti-Slavery Network 8.7 by RAGAS Vice-Chair Judith Diment; Robyn Stokes, RAGAS Ambassador pens a piece entitled What’s Up Down Under: Modern Slavery in Australia;  Rotaractor Lucie Raymonde Amrhein shares her feelings about her mother who survived exploitation in her story Human Bodies as Currency;  and  Ann Marie Jones, once trafficked for sex and recovered at a residential program helped by Rotary recounts her story in the book co-authored with Carol Metzker entitled A Shield Against the Monster: Protecting Children from Human Trafficking. Her story and 25 ways to prevent new victims form A Shield Against the Monster.



Mark Little and Harry Payne retire as founder Chair and Secretary after 10 years of service having helped put the scourge of modern day slavery and human trafficking firmly on the Rotarian agenda.  Read Mark’s successor, Dave McCleary’s recent bio, his engaging vision of the role RAGAS should play, as well as introductions to the 2019/2020 Board. 

Mark is also stepping down as Editor of RAGAS News having single handedly produced 92 Newsletters in his tenure. We are grateful to Carol Metzker for picking up the reins. Carol tells us to expect a change of format – issued less frequently but accessible by a wider audience. In his ‘farewell address’, as Editor, Mark reflects on the challenges we faced to get the RI Board to accept that slavery is a humanitarian and not political issue and therefore endorse our (now) existence as an Action Group; how world leaders like President Obama and Prime Minister Teresa May helped shape a change in global thinking on the issue. He also takes great pride in the partnerships we are building with all leading global NGO’s to create a global force for good … a point Chairman Dave drives home in his ‘vision statement’. 

Caroline Evans, RC of Norwich St Edmund, D 1080, England critiques the excellent breakout session many of us attended in Hamburg entitled ‘You Can Stop Human Trafficking’ led by the enigmatic Estela Landeros of the Rotary Club of The Hague Metropolitan in the Holland (Just Ask). Simon John, RAGAS’ new Secretary asks members to help assess some 1,323 NGO offering best practice guidance on slavery preventative education to assist incoming Director Malcolm Baird in his quest for RAGAS (on behalf of RI) to be a coordinating influence in the fight against modern day slavery and human trafficking. 

Finally but do read Teresa May, the outgoing UK Prime Minister’s speech to the International Labour Organisation’ Conference in June. It makes us Brits proud to be British.

91 May  Good news: Yorkshire Tea, Twinings, Tetley, Clipper and PG Tips (part of Unilever) & Typhoo accounting for 67% of the tea market have signed up Traidcraft Exchange’s campaign to build transparency as a first step to bringing accountability for the working conditions endured by the tea collectors. Report by Carol Metzker on the End Human Trafficking Conference in DC – 7 May 2019 organised by RAGAS Vice-Chair Dave McCleary. Following a candle vigil, Rotary in Britain and Ireland’s (RIBI) Conference sets aside 1/2 day to ‘shine a light on modern day slavery. Read VC Stephen’s report. Munir Ahmed Tanoli, RAGAS Co-ordinator for Pakistan speaks about Human Trafficking of Pakistant Christian Girls into China. David Black, RAGAS coordinator for Oceania & SE Asia tells about about Project Starfish – A 2019 Volunteer Opportunity in Cambodia and Thailand co-hosted by RAGAS and Stop The Traffik. Tony and Robin Stokes report on their thoughts and findings. Laura Dryjanska, International Ambassador of RAGAS, earlier our Italy Coordinator tells us about Raising awareness about Human Trafficking in Southern California. Andrew Wallis, CEO provides an insight into the UK charity Unseen which runs the UK National Helpline … and a lot more.
90 March

This month’s Newsletter provides details of three absolutely amazing anti-slavery projects which have been/are being undertaken by Action Group members and supporters.  RAGAS Board member Professor Marleina Broadhurst , describes her harrowing experiences of dealing with several cases of human and organ trafficking in Egypt. RAGAS stalwart and activist Carol Metzker tells us about RAGAS’s immense involvement in helping anti-slavery activists, over a three year period, to free a whole village in India from bonded slavery. Dana Clark, who is the Human Trafficking Resource Chair in Rotary District 5100, explains how several Rotary Clubs in Oregon, have been helping to thwart the activities of human traffickers  in the State, continuously, since 2012. Also in this edition: A reminder to join us at the RIBI Conference & Showcase 2019 – Slavery Symposium, Royal Albert Hall, Nottingham – 11th May 2019. Details about the RAGAS Booth (No 4241) at RIC 2019. Call for better support for victims in the USA and UK. Marriott Hotels train 500,000 staff to be aware of and spot possible victims of trafficking.

89 February Help survivors of Trafficking in the Philippines – study scholarships to allow full integration back into mainstream society; Tea brands to become more transparent in their operations: RAGAS’s partner Freedom United has linked up with Traidcraft Exchange in a new campaign to urge major and to respect the rights of their plantation workers; Outreach to vulnerable and exploited children in Uganda (by Tim Nelson, Hope for Justice); Kidnapped in the Congo, trafficked for adoption in Belgium. Belgium prosecutors act; WatchSwitch, a powerful 90 second film promoted by our friends at YouCanFreeUs; Sign up for the RIBI Conference & Showcase 2019 – Slavery Symposium, Royal Albert Hall, Nottingham UK, 11th May 2019

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.