Generation 414 is a social enterprise with the mission to alleviate poverty and abolish sex trafficking in our lifetime. We spoke to founder Christine about why urgent, powerful action is needed and how each one of us can all be part of the solution.
Written by Rachel Ganly
Edited by Amra Naidoo
Pushing through hot city streets in Asia one summer break, Christine found herself directly confronted by the reality of sex trafficking. Her Asian descent meant that male tourists mistook her for a local prostitute. Experiencing first-hand the callous treatment women received, she was at first infuriated.
“They would come up to me and ask “How much for one night?”. Streets were lined with teenage girls selling their bodies. It wasn’t until later that I realised just how fortunate I was to be able to leave that hopeless environment. Many were not as lucky.”
As a trauma counsellor, the reality of sex trafficking hit her hard. The statistics are daunting. The Global Slavery Index this year estimated that there are 45.8 million people enslaved in the world, more than at any other time in history. Women and girls make up 98% of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Urgent, powerful action is needed.
Back in Australia, Christine resolved to do something. After travelling to spend a year finding out about the problem, she developed partnerships with NGO’s Nightlight and A21 in Thailand. She focussed on the most effective ways to create change. Driven to deliver two powerful outcomes – alleviating poverty and abolishing human trafficking, Generation 414 was born.
Generation 414 is a social enterprise selling handmade products from human trafficking survivors. Whilst providing women with skills training and educational support, it also gives them secure income and an alternative to the sex trade. With financial security comes improved health and higher living standards within their communities.
“This is a notoriously difficult-to-reach demographic of exploited people.” says Christine. “As women develop their skills, they internalize that they have value, purpose and worth. Their children are also able to return to school and have a better, brighter future.”
Each product a customer buys is handmade by a survivor and helps to secure their freedom and restoration. Customers know that their purchase will directly assist a meaningful cause and make positive change in the world.
In Australia, Generation 414 runs anti-trafficking workshops and is spreading awareness. “We can stop human trafficking in our lifetime” says Christine. “But our generation need to work together to do this. We need to hold governments and companies accountable for ethical production, create new laws, and spread the word about trafficking.”
Christine wants everyone to be part of the solution. By engaging with Generation 414’s mission, every individual can play their part to make change.
Generation 414 are currently crowdfunding as a semi-finalist in Singapore Committee for UN Women and Mastercard’s Project Inspire. Every donation made will not only go directly toward their work to fight sex trafficking but counts as a vote to get them through to the Final.
“Trafficking happens everywhere. This could have been our sisters or daughters, it could have been me. No one should ever have to live a life enslaved. Only together can we be the change we wish to see in a woman’s world, a child’s world, in our world.”
You can find the original article here