Light Warriors – A RMF membership program to end human trafficking

Light warriors is the global membership initiative of the Ricky Martin Foundation. Our goal is to create an army of peacemakers to denounce and combat human trafficking . By joining our fight and recruiting others you will help us end modern day slavery. A light warrior is defined by honor and bravery. Their aim is to do justice and find peace for those who have been deprived from their freedom.

Become a Light Warrior and help us make our education programs to prevent human trafficking and child exploitation a reality. Your support will further strengthen our research about this modern scourge, and help us build us the Tau Center for Children in Puerto Rico.

With your monthly or annual contribution ($ 2.00 – $ 50.00), you become a global member of the Ricky Martin Foundation. You will receive our social impact report, know how you can help deter and report child exploitation, as well as receive discounts on our e-shop, and participate in our raffles.

Light Warriors will receive:
I. RMF Quarterly Newsletter
II. 5% discount on the E-SHOP
III. Raffles Memorabilia/ Merchandise RMF
IV. RMF Social Impact Report
V. Your e-certificate for the Warrior Beam for Facebook

Join our army of peaceful warriors to end human trafficking:
http://ricky-martin-foundation.myshopify.com/collections/membership-program

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To take refuge from the cold, 5 children die in trash bin

Guizhou province, southwest of China: In the city of Bijie a scavenger discovers 5 corpses between 7 and 13 years of age. They slept in the trash near a construction site to avoid the night chill and was presumed to die of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to a publicity official from the city government, the reason of their death is still under investigation.

5 vagrant children found dead in trash bin

Seen from the pictures on Weibo, China’s biggest microblogging site, the trash bin near a construction site is about 1.5 meters high and 1.3 meters wide.

Extracted from China Daily 11/19/2012 :

An elderly woman who picks up trash found the victims, who were around the age of 10, in the trash bin, Beijing News reported. Police have ruled out foul play, the report quoted an anonymous publicity official as saying.

The report said the temperature reached a low of 6 C on Thursday night.

The children had been living near the trash bin in a shelter they built using plastic tarpaulin,cement blocks and plywood, Li quoted residents who lived nearby as saying.

Ma Li, director of a rescue center for homeless children in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, said thechildren may have eaten food they found in the trash bin and died from food poisoning.

Li said the tragedy exposed an unresolved dilemma in the government’s rescue work forvagrant children.

“Rescue centers don’t have a long-term effective way to help these children as they can onlyprovide food and shelter for a maximum of 10 days. After that, the rescue centers are requiredto send these children home,” he said.

Most vagrant children don’t want to go home as they have bad relationships with their parentsand may be victims of domestic violence, he said.

“For this reason, many children shy away from rescue centers and feel reluctant to seek help,”he said.

The civil affairs department and rescue centers hand out blankets and padded coats during thewinter to the homeless, but more needs to be done, he said.

The government should work out a new mechanism that encourages NGOs, schools andindividuals to participate in helping vagrants, he urged.

Five women arrested for trafficking of newborn baby girl in India

From Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore Nov 10

Five women have been arrested for being involved in the trafficking of a newborn girl, born of an illicit relationship, at Lady Goschen Hospital here.

The arrested are Yashodha, Champa, Pramila, Sukanya and Gulabi. Yashodha from Beltangady taluk, with the help of the hospital sweepers Pramila and Sukanya, sold her illicit newborn girl soon after the delivery in the same hospital. After the matter came to the notice of Venur police following a complaint filed by Venur residents, the police investigated the case and traced the five accused.

Addressing a press meet here on Saturday November 10, SP Abhishek Goyal said that Yashodha, whose husband was in Mumbai, delivered a girl baby on April 2, 2012 after being admitted at Lady Goshchen hospital the previous day. It was her second child. Yashodha’s elder sister Champa, an accused in the case made Yashodha stay with her.

Yashodha was reluctant to keep the child with her and planned to sell it off. Sweepers in Lady Goshchen hospital namely Pramila and Sukanya promised to help Yashodha in this case.

Goyal added that both the sweepers contacted an outside party, Gulabi, a beedi worker in this regard. Gulabi offered to buy the baby for Rs 22,000, out of which Rs 12,000 was shared by the two sweepers. Gulabi then sold off the baby to Jayaraj and Rajivi couple, residents of Varkady village in Kasargod taluk, 7 months ago. The couple were married for 25 years without a child. Jayaraj, a bank employee, did not follow any of the legal procedures in adopting the baby.

Read more: Illegal birth in India

The city’s Child Welfare Committee member Vanitha Torvi said that in this particular case, there was illegal birth, illegal sale and illegal adoption. About the birth, she said, “llicit pregnancy results in disrespect to the child and the mother too. ” See: Details about Birth Certificate in India.

A Tale of child trafficking

“Mother selling their own newborns” still happens in poor rural areas. According to a report 10 year ago, in some rural villages in China,  a newborn might be sold by their parents for between 1000 to 2000 RMB ($150 to $300), and usually be taken far away by traffickers and resold for more than five times the price. A recent report reveals that 16 of 168 arrested suspects from the southwest province of Sichuan this year were “producers and traffickers of infants,” a.k.a. mother-traffickers who sold their own babies.

After 3 years, online trafficking rings are still growing in Indonesia

From a recent tweet of Ricky Martin Foundation there is a link about a 14-year-old Indonesian girl trafficked by a Facebook “friend”. The girl was found dumped at a bus station on September 30, while in the same month there were at least seven reports of young girls in Indonesia being abducted by people they met on Facebook, 27 altogether so far this year. An ECPAT International report estimates that each year, 40,000 to 70,000 children are involved in trafficking, pornography or prostitution in Indonesia. In recent years, social media has become a new tool to hunt for victims.

Social networks like Facebook are wildly popular in Indonesia. It’s said that many teenagers post their personal information like addresses and phone numbers publicly, and both youngsters and parents are unaware of the dangers.

Although most people started talking about the online trafficking in Indonesia by the end of October, it was not the first time to raise that topic in the country. On February 17, 2010, cases about trafficking on Facebook  was in discussion on Jakarta Globe. There were 25 reports about child kidnapping and blackmailing using Facebook as the method of contact.

Nothing changed after 3 years, except that there are more victims. Arist Merdeka Sirait, the previous secretary general of National Commission for Child Protection once encouraged parents to play a more active role in monitoring their children’s Internet interaction. But for many parents of teens, it doesn’t work. Trafficking also occurred via networking apps on the phone and text messages. Sirait, now the chairman of the commission, says they are racing against time, and police should move faster or many more girls will become victims.

Abusive teacher was detained, but there’s no law for child abuse out of family

Yan Yanhong, the Chinese kindergarten teacher who lift boy off ground by ears for fun was fired on Oct 25. From the latest news, Yan was detained for provocative and disturbing behavior, but will likely receive no further punishment. She was not accused for the crime of abuse because China does not have a law that deals with child abuse outside of the child’s family.

Yan was born in 1992. She was the teacher of Class 2 at Blue Peacock Kindergarten in Wen Ling, Zhejiang Province. After the first picture of her lifting a 5-year-old boy off ground by ears spreading over the internet, outrageous netizens found more than 700 pictures of child abuse in her Qzone (similar to Myspace). The pictures showing her abusive behaviors for two years were proven true by police.

The spokesperson of the kindergarten said they had never heard of that before. There were reports from parents saying they found suspicious cuts and bruises on their children, but Yan said the children hurt themselves when they were playing. The problem is, the parents couldn’t get an answer from their children, because most of them dared not tell what really happened in the class. In this case, the boy had told his mother that he was bullied by the teacher, but she thought he was lying and trying to avoid school before she saw that picture on the newspaper.

In China’s criminal law, the crime of abuse is applicable among family members. Usually, suspects of child abuse in kindergartens are put under administrative detention for up to 15 days. This means she will not face criminal charges.

Statistics show that 40% of kids in China suffered different kinds of abuse, either physically or mentally. 4.4% of them went through severe, repeated abuse. Half of the boys and one-third of the girls have been physically punished (hit, kicked or spanked, usually by their parents or educators). And one-third of children have been humiliated in public, like being forced to call themselves bad names in front of the class, while no actual law could protect them from this mental abuse yet.

Ricky Martin for Broadway Cares: VIP night and new CD

Meet Ricky Martin When You and a Guest Have a VIP Night

A bid for meeting Ricky Martin at Evita on Broadway closed on October 25. The auction was held at Charitybuzz and the proceeds for this item will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Details about the VIP night:

Here’s a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime chance to see EVITA, Broadway’s “high-octane blockbuster musical hit,” meet its internationally renowned superstar, Ricky Martin, and take home a specially signed souvenir of your high-flying night in the streets outside La Casa Rosada.

  • You and a guest will see what critics have called a “sumptuous, elegant and breathtakingly romantic” musical from VIP house seats
  • Immediately after the show, go backstage and meet Ricky Martin, whose sexy and sublime performance as Che has critics calling him “the King of Broadway” and audiences nightly cheering
  • Take home a Henley shirt worn by Mr. Martin in the show, signed by him on the back, as well as a show poster signed by the entire cast of EVITA

From an unconfirmed source on Twitter, the bid ended up with more than $7,000.

Ricky Martin, Chita Rivera, Cyndi Lauper and More to Ring in the Holidays on Broadway’s Carols for a Cure

The 2-CD Broadway holiday album CAROLS FOR A CURE 2012: VOLUME 14 hit stores on October 19. Recorded by high-profile stars, the album will be sold during a six-week fundraising period from October through early December. Carols for a Cure has raised over $3 million dollars for BCEFA since the project began in 1999.

See album description and songs list on Broadway Cares online store.

Kindergarten teacher fired after posting her child abuse show

A Chinese kindergarten teacher in Zhejiang Province was reported of child abuse on October 24th. Shortly after the incidence, the video of her abuse in classroom was revealed, which enraged netizens across the country.

A snapshot of the video shared by Yan Yanhong

Yan Yanhong, a teacher from a voluntary kindergarten in Wenling, Zhejiang Province was pulling a child’s ears and lifting him off the ground in the playroom “just for fun”. At the same time she asked her colleague to shoot a video with cell phone and then she shared it online. Seen from the video, the boy was about 20 centimeters off the ground howling in pain, while the teacher Yan appeared with her pleased face.

Wenling City Bureau of Education launched an immediate investigation into the kindergarten after receiving report from the parents of the abused child. The Bureau notified the police of this incident and obliged the kindergarten to dismiss the teachers involved.

More child abuse photos are found in Yan’s space. She put stick tapes, kegs and dustpans on the children, even threw them in the bin for pleasure.

Besides, Yan was caught teaching without licence. According to Teng Linhua, deputy director of Wenling City Bureau of Education, teachers must have certification to teach in any schools. But the shortage of kindergarten teachers makes it impossible to ensure that every teacher has certification before filling the position.

More shocking news about child abuse in classroom

October 15, 2012

Chinese kindergarten teacher Li Zhuqing was accused of hitting students repeatedly. A 5 years old girl was slapped 70 times in half an hour by her teacher because she failed to answer correctly ten plus one. In a surveillance camera video the teacher appeared to hit multiple children many times in a 10-minute period, even going so far as to grab one pupil by the arm, then try to throw him to the ground.

September 28, 2012

An 8 years old boy in Xingtai, Hebei Province was punished and slapped by his maths teacher in two nights in a row because he didn’t hand in the homework. The boy was diagnosed with otopiesis and hearing loss. In the next few days he constantly woke up from nightmare shouting “don’t beat me”.

July 2, 2012

Xu Lihuan, a 30-year-old teacher in Qianhui Children’s Rehabilitation Services Centre in Panyu, Guangzhou, threw a 4-year-old autistic girl to the floor. The girl, Qiu Yaoyao, allegedly fell into a coma following Xu’s attack. Yaoyao and Xu were doing some exercises together when the child refused to stand properly on a chair. Xu grabbed her arms and threw her to the ground, before proceeding to kick her, turned her upside down and banged her head into the floor.

June 25, 2012

In a kindergarten in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, children who didn’t “behave” in the lunch break were told to slap themselves and each other. The teacher explained that the children were “out of control”.

Rising concerns about child trafficking in big sport events

Various estimates show 15000 children and adults are trafficked in and out of France every year. A vast majority of them do not register complaints after they are sold into forced labour and prostitution. The other part of the problem lies with European travelers who visit other countries, be it for business or for holidays. (From Anustup Roy of Press TV)

French NGOs are launching an awareness campaign, pointing out large sporting events may spark an increase in prostitution and trafficking, like World Cup in South Africa, and UEFA Cup in Ukraine. The children may be abused in France and other countries too, says Yves Charpenel, Director of Scelles Foundation.

Here’s the biggest concern: big international sport events in Brazil which will hold the Confederation Cup in 2013, the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 expecting a high number of rich tourists from all over the world.

According to Mark Pattison of The Boston Pilot, more progress is being made by the companies who benefit the most financially from major sport events as they lend their considerable weight in deterring child trafficking.

Earlier this year, a consortium of Catholic investment groups did the same with the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. This summer, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility tackled the Olympic Games in London. And Julie Tanner, assistant director of socially responsible investing for Christian Brothers Investment Services, said more companies than ever before responded favorably to their queries.

Christian Brothers Investment Services prepared a report for its member funds, highlighting best practices in preventing child trafficking in their enterprises. The Olympic sponsors approached by Christian Brothers were “a wide range of companies” — mining, cars, customer service products and food.

People for Children Fundraiser at Longchamp, New York

Ricky Martin showed up for the People for Children Fundraiser at Longchamp on Sunday, October 21. The event was open for donors who “bought a brick” or just sent their donation in support of RMF’s Child Development and Prevention Center in Loiza, Puerto Rico. The center is under construction and scheduled to be open in the Winter of 2013 -2014. (To know more about RMF Center, click HERE )

People for Children Fundraiser at Longchamp

The event started at 11:00am in Longchamp Store, 132 Spring Street (info from Foundation for Social Change). Lots of our “Ricky friends” presented with support and enjoyed a nice speech by Ricky Martin. People who are interested can send their donations via the official site of RMF any time and will receive an acknowledgement letter in PDF.

Here’s a video shared by Ana Miklowcic, one of the most active fans of Ricky Martin.

Ricky Martin in the event of the foundation

PEOPLE FOR CHILDREN program of RMF

As the main theme of this site,  I’d like to introduce the People For Children program of Ricky Martin Foundation. Full text from its official website http://www.rickymartinfoundation.org is as following. RMF has updated the whole website and made it more interactive just before I started this blog. Congrats :)

Ricky and RMF Logo

Our principal project launched in 2004 was created to provide education and solutions for international efforts to abolish child trafficking, a modern form of slavery.

It was born from a humbling experience; in 2002 Martin witnessed the horrors of human trafficking as he rescued three trembling girls living in the impoverished streets of India. Preventing these girls from falling prey to this horrendous crime was a personal awakening.

That was more than a decade ago. Since then, he knew that his Foundation had a moral duty to shed a light on this taboo subject. Education has been our pillar from the outset.

This unscrupulous market — which consists of 27 million victims worldwide, according to the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report — generates up to $32 billion annually, an amount only rivaling that of the trafficking of arms and drugs. Of that 27 million, UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million are children who are trafficked every year to work as forced labor, in the commercial sex industry, in prostitution and in other forms of slavery.

But numbers don’t matter: Preventing one or 200 children from traffickers validates our mission. As stated by the United Nations, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century around the globe.

No one should be exploited and deprived of his or her freedom. We believe every child has the right to be a child, and we aim to provide this most vulnerable segment of the population, a safer world through a comprehensive and symbiotic vision.

The Ricky Martin Foundation aims to combat child trafficking by building support for the following goals: Global Awareness, Investigations and Education.

Original link: http://www.rickymartinfoundation.org/programs/people-for-children/