Child Slavery |
Proposed Rotarian Action Group against Child Slavery
The current situation…..200 years after the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, more children than ever before languish in slavery, forced to work under threat of violence and for no pay. The current estimate for those held in bondage is 27 million. That is more than twice the number taken out of Africa during the 400 years of the Atlantic Slave Trade. We now have a situation where young girls, sold for sex and labour are the second most lucrative commodity for organised crime. In many countries "slavery" is accepted as an every day social institution.
Start of the Project….As a result of the release & viewing of a TV documentary film on "Slavery", the Norwich St Edmund Rotary Club started the project in 2001 and persuaded the Rotary Clubs of Unley, Adelaide, South Australia, Mainz 50 degrees Nord, Germany and Reims St Remi, France to join us in the project which aimed to help children who have been rescued from slavery in India. nine years.
Widening the Project….The project against Child Slavery was adopted by District 1080 in 2004 and in 2005, RIBI accepted a District motion which was eventually submitted to the Council on Legislation in April 2007. The motion on Child Slavery was considered by the RI Board in November 2007, but not to the satisfaction of several Rotary Clubs in District 1080. In January 2009, the RI Board considered a Memorial from the Rotary Clubs of Norwich St Edmund and Norwich. The RI Board accepted one of the four request included in the Memorial.
Formation of an Action Group….On the advice of several members of the RI Board and other distinguished Past RI Presidents, it was agreed that the only way forward was to form a Rotarian Action Group (RAG). This Group is now being formed by club member, Mark Little and a submission for approval was made to the RI Board in March 2010.
RAG reforms….For sometime now the RI Board has been concerned about the operation of some of the existing RAGs and as a result has delayed making decision on the formation of new RAGs until it has agreed new guidelines for RAGs. These have now been produced and the RI Board has agreed to consider the RAG against Child Slavery when it meets on 23 January 2011.
Current Membership of RAG against Child Slavery…. The membership of the Group is currently over 340 from 33 countries. A copy of the Newsletters already issued can be obtained from the Group's website which is www.racsrag.org.
Purpose of Project…..First to create awareness in Rotarian circles of the plight of many millions of children who are physically and mentally held captive for commercial gain. Second, to take action by encouraging Rotarians to support, promote and work with anti-slavery bodies worldwide in developing programmes, campaigns & projects that help make "slavery" history for many.
Projects completed before 2010.….Support provided for two Rehabilitation Centres near Delhi, India. Educational vehicle purchased in 2004 (with help of a RF Matching Grant); construction of new toilets, washrooms and medical centre (2005); new Library & Resource Centre (2007); provision of equipment includes: water coolers, water purifiers, TV's, computers, blankets, pillows & mattresses.
Projects completed in 2010
a) purchase a motorcycle for Bal Vikas Ashram – a Child Slave Rehabilitation Centre, near Allahabad, India. The motorcycle is being used to enable staff to monitor the continued health, well being and freedom of the children who had been rescued from slavery and who have since left the Ashram. The participating clubs were the Rotary Clubs of West Chester Downtown, USA and Norwich St Edmund, England.
b) purchase of a 6/8 seater vehicle for Bal Vikas Ashram. The vehicle, which was purchased with the help of a RF Matching Grant, is being used, amongst other things, to provide transportation for children during rescue operations. The participating clubs were the Rotary Clubs of West Chester Downtown, Norwich St Edmund, Reims St Remi, France, Mainz 50° Nord, Germany and Exton Frazer, USA.
c) construction of a Bio Gas Oven at Punarnawa Ashram – a Shelter for trafficked women in Bihar, India. The Bio Gas Oven will provide energy for the kitchen at Punarnawa. The participating club was the Rotary Club of West Chester Downtown.