Project Destiny is a fashion initiative that’s aiming to shed light on the widespread issue of human trafficking
By Chere Di Boscio
Human trafficking is a more serious issue than you think. While most of us believe it only happens in countries far from ours, the truth is that sexual slavery exists in every nation around the world, and the main targets of human trafficking are young women and children. Specific forms of trafficking include domestic servitude, forced marriage, child soldiering, forced begging, forced criminal activity, and organ trafficking.
Trafficking is a form of organized, globalized crime and groups formerly active in specific routes or regions have expanded the geographical scope of their activities to explore new markets. Some have merged or formed cooperative relationships, expanding their geographical reach and range of criminal activities. Trafficking victims have become another commodity in a larger realm of criminal commerce involving other commodities, such as narcotics, weapons and money laundering, which generate illicit revenues or seek to reduce risks for traffickers. Unfortunately, most of the people who are victims of human trafficking lack the resources to hire excellent lawyers to fight for their rights and bring their captors to justice.
As a result, the relatively low risks of trafficking and substantial potential profits have, in some cases, sparked criminals to become involved in this as an alternative to other, riskier criminal pursuits. Even those connected to people in legitimate governments have been linked to human trafficking, indicating that the problem has become enmeshed in powerful institutions, even in the United States and other developed countries.
With the adoption of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in November 2000, countries have begun to develop the necessary criminal offences and enforcement powers to investigate, prosecute and punish traffickers and to confiscate their profits. That’s great news, but the problem is still spreading, and when women and children are rescued from slavery, they often have no skills or education, making them vulnerable to poverty and exploitation once again.
“Project Destiny” is a Capsule Collection and social justice campaign launching in the spring of 2017. In collaboration with Kolkata, India based charitable trust and social venture for survivors of human trafficking and at-risk youth Destiny Foundation/Reflection, the anti-trafficking nonprofit Beauty for Freedom (BFF) and the activism-based product empowerment initiative Council for Fashion and Social Change (CFSC) have teamed up to create the Project Destiny Fashion Campaign to help raise funds and awareness for the fight to end sex-trafficking in India via Destiny Foundation/ReflectionÃŠ ¼s training programs at shelter homes and in the Red Light district, equipping young women and girls with knowledge of life skills such as sewing and crafts along with their literacy programming.
All products in Project Destiny’s capsule collection were created and manufactured by the artisans under Destiny Foundation’s empowerment programs. Proceeds from sales of all products after production and distribution will be donated to the programming at Destiny Foundation/Reflection.
The campaign and capsule collection’s mission is to engage the industries of Fashion, Beauty and Entertainment as powerful allies in the fight to end sex trafficking and to create an innovative, sustainable platform that will provide a means to raise awareness, accountability, and financial support for charitable foundations and non-profit groups who are fighting this battle on the front lines by creating job training and opportunities for survivors so that there is a lower recidivism rate for re-trafficking and more opportunities for survivors to live sustainable and healthy lives by being paid fair wages for their work in fashion and textiles.
Photographer: Dasha Dare Model: Vika Costa