26 May

Human Trafficking, Part 2

By Stephen Anfield | 26 May, 2010 | 14 Comments

There are lots of issues in the world, and most need to be handled with care and sensitivity. Any form of human trafficking is an illegal practice that should be handled by the government. In cases where individuals have taken it upon themselves to remedy a bad situation, one has to take a look at the bigger picture. Most of us want to change the world and leave our mark on society. It goes without saying that sometimes our efforts may not be the best means of changing the status quo. We shared a story from someone whose efforts could be best aided by the help of the government. The story was real and after discussing with a variety of people, we now know that an issue of this magnitude is best suited for the authorities.

Human trafficking is serious. We didn’t mean to belittle it or make it seem like we were supporting it. There are several resources we’ve located online that discuss this issue in depth, and we’ve included them below. The story we heard was moving, but after speaking with several friends and colleagues (some of whom are employed by government agencies), they shared with us a variety of scenarios that we had not considered. We are collecting shirts for disaster relief. We are trying to help teachers and students that need supplies for school. We are a group of young people trying to help. It’s frustrating and disheartening when individuals with a great deal of experience in various efforts seem to get pleasure in crushing the energy and desire of people who want things to be better in the world. We want to listen and we want to discuss topics that we’ve never been apart of and know people reading this blog have not either.

The story we shared was simply that… a story. We’ve experienced a lot in a short amount of time. Given the visibility, we have had a great deal of people seeking help with their initiatives. We are sticking to the collection of shirts for disaster relief and instead of sharing stories apart from our mission, we’ll be asking our advisors and people with more experience. We simply shared a story that we heard and wanted to pass it on. It moved us, it is a scary part of this world and we will be staying out of it.

To learn more about human trafficking: Read this post

Special thanks to @texasinafrica for providing her insights

- Jason & Stephen


Aurora Sola May 27, 2010

I’m sorry to hear that a group of young people have been disheartened in their efforts to make things in the world better.

However, you might save yourself some disheartening if you took the time to inform yourself about important issues before broadcasting your take on them to a large audience.

Just saying, you know, the world is up to here with misleading information. Best of luck!

Becky May 27, 2010

I have to agree with Aurora. I’m sure that you’ve had requests for help pouring in from various groups given your success in gaining attention for #1millionshirts. But I think it is important to remember that these ARE topics that you’ve “never been apart of” and that it’s imperative to EDUCATE YOURSELF FIRST before signing on to anything, or endorsing anyone’s projects. You wouldn’t receive such backlash from the online aid community if you took the time to investigate these stories and projects BEFORE posting about them online.

1 million shirts has great potential to reach a new audience of engaged citizens who genuinely want to do good and help the world. You have a RESPONSIBILITY to provide these readers with vetted, sound information and advice. I think you would be well served to be a bit more patient with your efforts. Utilize the advisers you’ve already identified. Crowdsource resources to get more information when necessary. You have the tools at your disposal, but you need to be willing to put in the time and effort to use them. Saving the world isn’t easy. It’s expensive in terms of sweat equity. Sweat equity and intellectual capital.

Be patient, do the research, and I think you’ll be able to have a great impact. But be careful – you could easily do more harm than good if you try to rush ahead without thinking things through.

Brigid May 27, 2010

In regards to the original plan, I’m in agreement with the aid workers and experts who’ve identified the flaws on other blogs.

But I do want to acknowledge the fact that your admitting a mistake, because it’s not easy for anyone to say that he was wrong.

So, kudos.

Juliane Okot Bitek May 28, 2010

With every moment that passes, it get dicier and dicier to hide behind the “young people with good intentions” excuse. Enough of that. By now you should know that even young people have the capacity to think things through, seek advice far and wide, and most of all, listen and learn. Look around in your own neighborhood, city, state, country first. Perhaps you can hand out T-shirts during the impending hurricane season,or use them to build a dyke. Maybe you can use a million t-shirts to fill up the hole on the ocean floor off the coast of Florida.

kmh June 13, 2010

i think this post and the other related posts are important for you to read. development aid workers need to realise their subjectivity in this industry.

Immerotroresk July 14, 2010

Hello 1millionshirts.org folks
Vacation is here, pretty boring. Came to discover some quality time wasting online funnies.
Will be glad to see your best finds

Web Form August 23, 2010

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!

- Josh