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Local bar works with Not For Sale

Megan Doyle | Monday, April 26, 2010

Notre Dame students will reach out to the 27 million victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking with the Not For Sale campaign while celebrating the end of spring classes at Finny’s Wednesday.

“Not For Sale is a movement to re-abolish slavery that persists as human trafficking, indentured servitude, child labor and sex trafficking around the world,” senior Chelsea Slaggert said.

The Blarney Stone, known as Finny’s to many in the community, will be offering 25 percent of proceeds from drinks and all of the cover charges from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. to support the campaign.

“We want to bring people’s attention to the tragedy that exists in our midst,” she said. “This is not a problem that only happens abroad. People are enslaved in the United States. And it has to end.”

Slaggert orchestrated the fundraiser along with seniors Caroline Hawes, Michelle Ripple and Laura Borgenheimer.

“Throughout our four years at Notre Dame, we have developed strong passions to do something to end human suffering, whether that be poverty, poor health care, access to clean water or human trafficking, and this event is a simple action we’ve decided to take,” Slaggert said.

Slaggert said more people are victimized by modern human trafficking than were victimized during the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

“Human trafficking occurs when people, most commonly women and children, are forcefully coerced, abducted or deceived and transported across borders to be used by individuals as a source of domestic help or income,” Slaggert said.

Slaggert said she hopes the women of Notre Dame will consider the implications of sexual slavery in their immediate lives.

“In bringing awareness to the forced objectification of slavery, we also want to consider more personally the way in which we — women of Notre Dame — choose to objectify ourselves or allow yourself to be objectified by others as a ‘sexy’ appearance or body,” Slaggert said.

Not For Sale encourages members of different backgrounds and communities to find ways to seek justice for victims of slavery. The Not For Sale campaign aims to find “innovative solutions for every individual to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe,” according to the campaign website.

The Not For Sale website outlines the campaign’s work to “recruit, educate and mobilize an international grassroots social movement that effectively combats human trafficking and slavery.”

Poverty is key for those oppressed by human trafficking, Slaggert said.

“The position of vulnerability faced by those living in poverty make them perfect targets for the abuse of power,” she said.

The crime is also a hidden one, according to the campaign website, but Slaggert said it is one that must be addressed.

“Slavery is an absolute form of human objectification,” Slaggert said. “People are forced to become objects of labor and sex at the whim of those who hold power over them.”

The campaign website highlights communication and creativity as crucial to the mission of the “new generation of abolitionists.”