Long is Not For Sale

May 21, 2021

Long is Not For Sale

WRITTEN BY - Not For Sale

Long was born in 2004. His father died when he was young and his mother remarried. His stepfather was a violent man, often beating Long and his mother and smashing furniture. Long ran away from home and lived on the streets for several years.

When NFS Vietnam partners Blue Dragon staff met him, he was distrustful of everyone, with behavioural difficulties caused by his traumatic experiences. Blue Dragon staff continued to demonstrate care and affection to Long and gradually he learned to trust them. As a result he was able to move into one of our shelters. Not For Sale and Blue Dragon helped Long return to school, giving him career preparation workshops and enrolling him in youth development activities.

“Since moving into this Shelter, I have changed a lot. I am happier, I can communicate with people and have more similar age friends. Not like before, when I had to spend most of the time after school, to pick up rubbish from the streets and sell it to support my mother and younger sister. Now I can join more activities and learn more new skills. I love living here.”
– Former street kid living at the Not For Sale shelter in Vietnam
In time, Long developed relationships with other children at the Blue Dragon shelter. Covid-19 interrupted Long’s schooling, forcing him to stay home and study. However, supported by his education team of social workers and teachers – this resilient little boy persevered and completed his first year of school with good results. Diligent and hard-working, Long is keen to improve his English, so making use of his career mentoring, he was able to find a job in a bar near the shelter. He reports being satisfied and happy with his current life, at last able to look forward to the future with positivity.
Related

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Celebrate Freedom! We have something for everyone on your list — give the gift of freedom. Not For Sale is a rebellious group of brands that have come together across multiple product categories and industries to change the world. Each time you...

read more

Dirty Word

Phuong had to pretend that she was sleeping. Every second was more terrifying than the last. She had a chance to call for help, but everything depended on the family being asleep. She had to act in complete secrecy. The risk of being caught was high. The consequences...

read more

Long is Not For Sale

Long was born in 2004. His father died when he was young and his mother remarried. His stepfather was a violent man, often beating Long and his mother and smashing furniture. Long ran away from home and lived on the streets for several years. When NFS Vietnam partners...

read more

Online Trafficking

BackgroundThe digital age has fuelled a form of exploitation where children can be sexually abused online with the use of a computer and webcam, or even just a mobile phone. This means abusers located anywhere in the world can exploit children without ever having to...

read more

Online Trafficking

ONLINE TRAFFICKING

OUR FIGHT AGAINST ONLINE ABUSE

Background

The digital age has fuelled a form of exploitation where children can be sexually abused online with the use of a computer and webcam, or even just a mobile phone. This means abusers located anywhere in the world can exploit children without ever having to leave their home, and worse still are shielded by the virtual nature of the internet. These heinous crimes may be virtual but the impact is real – with devastating consequences for those affected.

By the numbers

Images related to child sexual exploitation reported in 2019

estimated % of content scanned globally for illgal content

Video related to child sexual exploitation reported in 2019

% increase of CSE reports year-over-year

OUR CHALLENGES

In 2020 alone there were over 60 million Child Sexual Assault Material (CSAM) images or videos reported by authorities across the globe. While the legal definition of CSAM varies by country, the common denominator is an image or video that shows a child who is engaged in or is depicted as being engaged in explicit sexual activity.

CSAM can be found on pretty much any storage or communication system – from social media and email, to file & image hosting and messaging – putting so many at risk.

Our Mission and Purpose

Create best in class technology, to fight the spread of Child Sexual Assault Materials (CSAM) in society, protecting the most vulnerable among us.

DIRECT IMPACT

Named after our country director in NFS Thailand, where it all started in 2007, our latest venture Krunam was created to combat the growing cases of CSAM online. With 82% of the total number of children appearing in CSAM aged 7-14 and 92% of them young girls, it’s a massive global crisis that needs attention. We’ve joined forces with VigilAI – a London based leader in AI/Deep Learning and computer vision, and JustBusiness – a bay area based leader in founding and supporting impact focused businesses. With our joint expertise in technology, business development and survivor services, Krunam is designed from the ground up to address the complex ecosystem that surrounds the fight against CSAM.

Current technology identifies less than 10% of CSAM, and we’re committed to doing better by moving on to the next generation of CSAM detection – our VigilAI CAID Classifier. Developed in collaboration with the UK’s Home Office, our Classifier pushes the boundaries of perceptual hashing only able to identify previously known CSAM, since it uses visual cues learned from being trained on CAID’s dataset (the Home Office’s Child Abuse Image Database and the largest database of CSAM in the world) which contains millions of CSAM examples.

Our work impacts the many that are at risk – survivors of assault who are re-victimized by the distribution of CSAM, content moderators who are damaged psychologically while reviewing CSAM in order to find perpetrators and remove it from digital platforms, and businesses that risk damaging the brand and online community they’ve spent years cultivating.

Impossible

May 10, 2021

Impossible

WRITTEN BY - Not For Sale

We thought that Lan was dead.

Her last call to the Blue Dragon Rescue Team late one night in March 2020 delivered a chilling message.

Please say sorry to my family. Tell them I love them, but death would be better than one more day of this.

Lan was 26. She had been trafficked from her home in Vietnam across the border into China when she was just 21 years old.

“Human trafficking can be defeated. We can do this; we only need to try.”

– Michael Brosowski

After five years of being held in slavery, raped and beaten repeatedly by the man who bought her, Lan found a way to call for help.

Her call reached Not For Sale Vietnam partners Blue Dragon, but the COVID pandemic had just begun. The border between Vietnam and China was closed; travel within both countries was heavily restricted.

The first time Lan thought she might find freedom, she was denied it.

We tried everything to reach her. And when we knew that we couldn’t, we resorted to comforting her, assuring her we would find a way.

But for people in slavery or situations of domestic violence, lockdowns are more than an inconvenience. Being locked down means being trapped in the same space as your abuser, all the time, with no relief. For Lan, the lockdown exacerbated her already-terrifying situation.

That night, she tried to take her own life. She did not succeed.

Since then, her traffickers watched her more carefully, reducing any chance she might have to call again for help or to attempt an escape.

Until now.

This week, Blue Dragon reached Lan. More than a year since we thought it was all over, feared we were too late, we found her. She is free.

Lan crossed the border late in the week, back into Vietnam, and is now in quarantine. We don’t know how long she will be there, because a new COVID outbreak has caused havoc across the country, but Lan is finally safe. The worst is surely behind her.

Every call for help demands urgent, immediate attention. COVID has made it so much harder for Blue Dragon to find and rescue people from situations of slavery, but it has also increased our resolve.

Because we can see how much more dangerous life is now for the poorest of the poor; how much more risk is faced by people who are jobless and desperate; how much more violence women and girls are facing when they are locked in with their abusers.

Lan’s rescue and return home seemed impossible this time last year. Now the impossible has happened.

Human trafficking can be defeated. We can do this; we only need to try.

Related

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Celebrate Freedom! We have something for everyone on your list — give the gift of freedom. Not For Sale is a rebellious group of brands that have come together across multiple product categories and industries to change the world. Each time you...

read more

Dirty Word

Phuong had to pretend that she was sleeping. Every second was more terrifying than the last. She had a chance to call for help, but everything depended on the family being asleep. She had to act in complete secrecy. The risk of being caught was high. The consequences...

read more

Long is Not For Sale

Long was born in 2004. His father died when he was young and his mother remarried. His stepfather was a violent man, often beating Long and his mother and smashing furniture. Long ran away from home and lived on the streets for several years. When NFS Vietnam partners...

read more

Online Trafficking

BackgroundThe digital age has fuelled a form of exploitation where children can be sexually abused online with the use of a computer and webcam, or even just a mobile phone. This means abusers located anywhere in the world can exploit children without ever having to...

read more

COPING MECHANISMS

COPING MECHANISMS

Written By Ellen Falltrick (NFS Supporter)

“What kind of painting do you do?”

That is equally the most daunting and exciting question I am frequently asked as an artist. How can I quickly and impactfully explain that my large paintings depicting nudity, death, pain, self-harm and sorrow are not some kind of odd kink, but pay homage to the people that survive such tragedies. 

How do I make easily digestible the complex, painful and inspiring stories that inspire my artwork? How could I possibly illuminate the emotional turmoil, perseverance and recovery necessary to make these paintings beautiful?

Because, they are. These horrible paintings are beautiful.

My hope is that by donating funds from the sale of the Coping Mechanisms paintings, I can help to provide peace and emotional release to those that need it most.

Ellen Falltrick

In truth, I cannot easily elaborate on the inspiration behind my work which is why I fear such a question. However, to the right audience – for the attentive listener – it is the most valuable question to reach my ears. Asking me to explain my painting may be difficult to answer, but it allows me to share my vision for creating art that empowers survivors of extreme adversity. 

Painting has always been more than a hobby for me; it is the way that I express the feelings that are not easily spoken. What started as an outlet for my own feelings, challenges and triumphs quickly became a method of sharing the stories of others that were brave enough to confide their adverse experiences in me. 

I was approached by women in abusive relationships with their partners or employers, men who had been raped, people who had felt trapped, lost or hurt in a myriad of ways. As honored as I felt to receive their grief, I also felt the need to release the weight of their stories through art. Incorporating their experiences into my paintings not only allowed me release but – more importantly – honored their strength, recovery and survival. Although I do not label my paintings with the names of the people that inspired them, they know who they are; they know the depths of their own strength, courage and perseverance and, should they ever forget, they need only look at one of my paintings. 

These many stories culminated in my latest series, Coping Mechanisms. Upon completion of this set of paintings, I felt extreme peace. In fact, the emotional release was so strong that I felt guilty for keeping the healing to myself. Therefore, I pledged to donate 40% of the proceeds of the Coping Mechanisms show debut to people with stories similar to those that inspired me. Not For Sale seemed like an obvious choice to receive these funds, considering they serve those that have experienced one of the most severe adversities: sex and labor trafficking. 

Not For Sale’s mission to rescue survivors of trafficking and prevent future exploitations aligns well with my passion for empowering those that have survived exploitations of all kinds. My hope is that by donating funds from the sale of the Coping Mechanisms paintings, I can help to provide peace and emotional release to those that need it most. 

Coping Mechanisms is on display in Chico, CA at Tin Roof Bakery through January 31st. However, a virtual viewing option will be available at www.ellenfalltrick.com through February 28th. Online purchases are encouraged through the site, at which point, the painting will be shipped to the buyer’s location and 40% of the purchase price will be donated to Not For Sale.

Related Articles

Related

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Celebrate Freedom! We have something for everyone on your list — give the gift of freedom. Not For Sale is a rebellious group of brands that have come together across multiple product categories and industries to change the world. Each time you...

read more

Dirty Word

Phuong had to pretend that she was sleeping. Every second was more terrifying than the last. She had a chance to call for help, but everything depended on the family being asleep. She had to act in complete secrecy. The risk of being caught was high. The consequences...

read more

Long is Not For Sale

Long was born in 2004. His father died when he was young and his mother remarried. His stepfather was a violent man, often beating Long and his mother and smashing furniture. Long ran away from home and lived on the streets for several years. When NFS Vietnam partners...

read more

Online Trafficking

BackgroundThe digital age has fuelled a form of exploitation where children can be sexually abused online with the use of a computer and webcam, or even just a mobile phone. This means abusers located anywhere in the world can exploit children without ever having to...

read more

The story of a 7 year old girl from Northern Thailand

The story of a 7 year old girl from Northern Thailand

Written by Not For Sale

Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving and unity in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  I wanted to share with you an incredible story of freedom, made possible only by the support and donations you continue to provide. 

Today I send you my heartfelt thanks, and hope you share this story with others and encourage them to support our cause, as you have. 

The best pathway to a future, and potentially citizenship, was education.

David Batstone – co-founder Not For Sale

When I first met Krunam in 2006 on a visit to the border of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand (The Golden Triangle), I was struck by her grit.  She was a mother bear, who would fight for every last one of her cubs. At that time she had rescued 27 kids from the karaoke bars and mafia beggar rings that exploited children.

My first promise to her was that I would provide shelter for those 27 kids. Once secure in a safe home, the next step was to provide an education. Almost all of these kids were “stateless” – ethnic tribal groups that no country would claim as citizens.

The best pathway to a future, and potentially citizenship, was education.

We have sent hundreds of stateless and trafficked kids to schools over the past thirteen years.  Last year alone (2019) Not For Sale Thailand sent 39 children from our village to some of the best boarding high schools in the country, and three went to university.

In 2015 we were proud that two of our “Not For Sale” children, a boy and a girl, became the first two stateless children to graduate from a Thai university in the history of the country.

That opened the door for others to follow.

In this short video I share the story of Bupa, a young girl who came to live with Krunam when she was 7 years old. Her story is beyond inspirational.

Related Articles

Related

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Celebrate Freedom! We have something for everyone on your list — give the gift of freedom. Not For Sale is a rebellious group of brands that have come together across multiple product categories and industries to change the world. Each time you...

read more

Dirty Word

Phuong had to pretend that she was sleeping. Every second was more terrifying than the last. She had a chance to call for help, but everything depended on the family being asleep. She had to act in complete secrecy. The risk of being caught was high. The consequences...

read more

Long is Not For Sale

Long was born in 2004. His father died when he was young and his mother remarried. His stepfather was a violent man, often beating Long and his mother and smashing furniture. Long ran away from home and lived on the streets for several years. When NFS Vietnam partners...

read more

Online Trafficking

BackgroundThe digital age has fuelled a form of exploitation where children can be sexually abused online with the use of a computer and webcam, or even just a mobile phone. This means abusers located anywhere in the world can exploit children without ever having to...

read more