Vanessa Safajou investigates how the beauty industry is impacting change in the fight against child trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Human trafficking affects approximately 27 million people worldwide. It’s estimated as many as 1.2 million children are trafficked each year for child labour and sexual exploitation. Close to our shores, South East Asia has the highest figures in terms of victims, many of which are forced to work in brothels and red light districts.
Earlier this year, beauty industry initiative Salons Against Child Slavery was established to make a change to these disturbing statistics.
How did it start?
Queensland salon franchise, Hair Rocks Salons kick-started the movement when they funded an event and called upon clients to get involved with donations to raise funds and awareness for Destiny Rescue, a non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Salon staff donated their time and the salon owner, Peter Sinclair, donated all product used on the day, ultimately raising over $5,000 which went toward the Destiny Rescue hairdressing initiative, where rescued girls are trained to become hairdressers.
About the organisation
Destiny Rescue is a grassroots, internationally recognised, Christian based, non-profit organisation. They operate over five nations – Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and India – rescuing exploited children from brothels and red light districts, as well as providing aid to those living in extreme poverty and helping underprivileged children through their sponsorship program.
Destiny Rescue aims to rescue 100,000 children by the end of the year 2020
Last year Destiny Rescue reached a milestone of 1,000 rescued children, and as awareness and funding increases, the organisation aims to rescue a further 100,000 children by the end of 2020.
Rescued children are offered medical care and counselling, and are taken to a rescue home where they can live in a safe and nurturing environment, eat nutritious meals, receive an education, interact with other children and enjoy the childhood so cruelly taken away by human traffickers.
When they reach the appropriate age, rescued children are also given the opportunity to learn a skilled trade at Destiny Rescue’s Training and Employment Centre so they can become self-sufficient, earn a living for themselves and reintegrate back into society.
How can you get involved?
October 18 is Anti-Slavery Day, and Salons Against Child Slavery will be holding a major fundraising event to coincide with the day. This time the aim is to get salons across Australia involved, working towards a goal of a million dollars.
Destiny Rescue will provide participating salons with information brochures and collection tins that, in conjunction with promotion through social media, blog posts and word of mouth, will drum up awareness and anticipation for the event.
Salons Against Child Slavery is working towards a goal of a million dollars.
Participating in this initiative is a fantastic opportunity for salon owners and staff to use their time and skills to raise funds and awareness for an extremely worthy cause; something for which your clients and colleagues will have immeasurable respect and admiration.
For further information on how to get involved, head to destinyrescue.org.