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Compassion In Kenya

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Compassion CBO

Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas of Kenya and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

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COFAPRI

COFAPRI is registered in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Grassroots News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

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How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

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Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

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The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
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Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
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Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

trickedin-fhm

August 2012

Earlier this year, the Singapore branch of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), a global advertising agency, announced its summer intern programme.

Called BBH Barn, it appealed for six students to create a project that would achieve 'something exciting famously'.

A campaign was developed by the new interns to help publicise the work of a local Singaporean NGO, HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics).

TrickedIn

The BBH campaign, called TrickedIn, involved setting up a LinkedIn profile of a fake trafficking victim called Kim, who was supposedly looking for a new job.

There was a problem. LinkedIn does not allow fake profiles and restricted 'Kim's' account. Despite appeals to Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), the account remained restricted and the interns went into action. They set up a petition to LinkedIn demanding that the profile was reinstated, and started writing to women's rights organisations for support.

And they decided to involve Safeworld.

The Advertising Agency

Out of the blue, one of the interns at BBH Barn sent an email to Safeworld asking for our support in petitioning LinkedIn.

First we needed to know more about the campaign.

We looked at the website of HOME, a highly credible NGO working with victims of human trafficking.  Next we wanted to know about BBH and saw they were a high-profile advertising agency with branches throughout the world representing prestigious clients. Finally we wanted to know about the BBH Barn project.  And that's when we came across a small press announcement by BBH Asia Pacific that the BBH Barn intern programme was open for new applicants.

The Men's Magazine

Above the BBH Barn announcement was another press release, entitled 'FHM Sexiest Women in NON-Existence'.

FHM-Sexiest-Women'Partnering with creative agency BBH Asia Pacific, FHM will announce the winner in a groundbreaking, special edition issue, which will feature all 100 girls scandalously re-imagined by top artists from the around the world.

"... the Sexiest Women in Non-Existence issue will give readers something to look forward to every year, and give sexy imaginary women everywhere the recognition they deserve." Said Douglas Hamilton, Deputy Creative Director, BBH Asia Pacific.

FHM is a men's magazine, notorious for the objectification of women.

Safeworld decided that a collaboration with BBH would not be appropriate, and replied to the BBH intern to this effect, with our reasoning.We recommended she passed our feedback onto BBH.

We have not received a response.

What do you think?

If you would like to express your views to BBH Asia Pacific...

Twitter: @BBHBarn_Sg  |   @bbhasiapacific

Email: Chairman of BBH Asia Pacific:

Our Response

Since we did not hear back from BBH, we asked our intern writer, Casey Dillon, to spell out why it is inappropriate to advocate on behalf of sex-trafficking victims, whilst promoting the objectification of women.

We hope BBH finds the following information useful....


 

Women as Sex Commodities: A Harmful Exploitation

The Sexual Objectification of Women and Sex Trafficking

By Casey Dillon

Defining Exploitation

Defining exploitation can be tricky. 

Its broad definition can apply to the misuse of natural resources, underprivileged communities, or even individuals.  To some, it may seem like an exaggeration to compare sex trafficking, and the objectification, and hyper-sexualization of women as both being exploitative practices.

Regardless of what people may think, both trafficking, and the objectification of women are significant, and harmful forms of exploitation.  However, they are not independent of one another. 

While sex trafficking is not solely a women’s issue, the majority of victims are female – but why?

The Social Roles of Men and Women

In most societies today, women still face oppression.  Many women perceive that they have historically been - and still are - victims of both direct and subtle forms of male oppression.

Women are more susceptible to gender discrimination in all its forms – lower wages, lack of education, inability to participate in politics, and as a result of these, are often perceived as less valuable to their families or communities.  In patriarchal societies, men are raised to believe that they deserve more, that they can have whatever they want because it is their ‘birthright’. 

Often, what men want – and are taught they deserve – is that women can be controlled entirely, including sexually.  Men obtain these ‘pleasures’ through popular media and pornography, frequently seeing hyper-sexualized women often with little or no clothing, or performing a sexual act. 

The UK's last major study of sexual behaviour –   the 2000 National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) –  found that 15 percent of men had had "overlapping" relationships in the previous year, but only 9 percent of women had the same.

Men who pay for sex could also explain their higher rates of "overlapping relationships". The study found that about 4 percent of men had paid for sex in the past five years. If we assume there are fewer women selling sex than there are men paying for it, then prostitution could also explain some of the discrepancy.

That assumes, of course, that far fewer women pay for sex.

Compared to women, men are far more likely to to act on any sexual desire they have, like paying for sexual favours.

Why Women Have Been Trafficked into Prostitution

While some prostitutes may consider themselves to be sex workers and be in the business willingly, many are sold against their will, with some too young to give consent, and others faced with no other choice.  They and their families may have been threatened,  may be trying to pay off an impossible debt, or may have been tricked by loved ones.

These are victims of sex trafficking: forced to endure sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse, day after day.

The Demand

Sex trafficking is an extremely profitable business.  Victims cost virtually nothing and can be sold on, repeatedly. If something happens to them, they can be easily replaced. 

Unlike consenting sex workers who are earning a living for themselves, sex trafficking victims do not earn any profit.  All of the money they are forced to earn goes to their pimps, or criminal gangs operating as human traffickers. 

Some “Johns”, or customers, desire virgins, or have fetishes that generally cannot be satisfied willingly.  For these reasons, pimps and human traffickers have been, and will continue to traffic victims for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and most of these victims will be female, for that is the ‘product’ most sought after.

Non-profits and profit-seeking businesses alike are raising their voices about the horrors of sex trafficking.  By bringing any aspect of human trafficking to light, the world comes one step closer to eliminating the problem.  However, all of the awareness campaigns in the world cannot end sex trafficking until a change in mindset occurs. 

Easy Access

The continued focus on female sexuality throughout the world is a major cause of trafficking, if only for the fact that it reinforces the idea that women are objects of sexual pleasure that can be accessed, or purchased at any time though popular media, movies, pornography, or in person.

Women are the most common victims of objectification, and the sexual objectification of women’s lives is prevalent in our society. 

FHM Magazine

FHM-magazineFHM Magazine home page, 11th August 2012

 It seems hypocritical that a creative advertising agency like Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) would condemn sex trafficking –  while still working with a magazine (FHM) geared towards men, that regularly features scantily clad, hyper-sexualised women. 

Also known as sexual ojectification.

FHM caters to its audience by featuring sections of scantily clad “girls.” 

By calling them “girls,” FHM suggests naïveté and innocence, and by displaying these women in little clothing – which is supposed to be attractive to the male audience, FHM has successfully dehumanized women, making them solely objects of pleasure. 

It also reinforces the culturally shaped notion that men are entitled to see women in this way.

The Female Body as a Commodity

Sex trafficking responds to a demand for a certain commodity, and in this case, the female body. 

Purchasing a trafficked victim for sexual purposes is similar to purchasing stolen or knock-off purses. They are cheaper, but accomplish the same tasks, and they can be more easily replaced.  However, people only realize how much they desire certain products when they are advertised. 

BBH is advertising the female body in a way that presents it as a commodity; it makes desire for the purchase of sex seem normal or acceptable, especially if those purchasing sex are not getting what they desire for free. 

While the “TrickedIn” campaign certainly has the best interests of sex trafficking victims at heart, BBH should have taken a closer look at what trafficking entails, and what some of the causal factors are.

Source: UCL

 


 

Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME)

Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME)

There are some 800,000 migrant workers or more in Singapore and HOME has provided direct assistance to more than 50,000 men and women migrants and victims of human trafficking and forced labour, who availed of our programme and services. Among those helped included migrants affected by the Tsunami disaster in 2005 and the present global economic crisis in 2008/2009. On one occasion, we provided shelter for 15 Indonesian women and their children, who were abandoned at sea by seamen. Our stories of assistance are as varied as the sufferings and the wounds inflicted upon our beneficiaries.

You can support the work of HOME directly here.

Further information about HOME: http://home.org.sg


 

CaseyCasey Dillon is a Safeworld Student Writer. She is studying at Connecticut College, USA, and is president of an anti-slavery group based at the college campus.

"I grew up believing that the American dream was possible; that if I worked hard enough, the sky could not even limit me, and that this was also true for everyone else...

While studying.. I realized the extent to which our society treats certain groups of people differently and unfairly...

I believe that each of us has a personal responsibility to become knowledgeable about, or at least aware of, the various issues that affect our fellow human beings, and that we also have the responsibility to share that knowledge."