WPP's Gain Theory Named A Leader in Marketing Measurement and Optimization Solutions

NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gain Theory, a global foresight consultancy that accelerates growth for ambitious brands, has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Marketing Measurement and Optimization Solutions, Q1 2022.

The Forrester MMO wave evaluates and benchmarks the most significant marketing measurement and optimization providers against current offering, strategy, and market presence. Forrester categorizes providers as either Leaders, Strong Performers, Contenders or Challengers.

The Forrester report states that "Large global enterprises with complex marketing budgets in search of high–touch services should put Gain Theory on their short list" and notes that Gain Theory's "services offering really shines among the competitive set."

Gain Theory received the highest scores possible across 13 criteria, defined as superior relative to other vendors in the evaluation. Gain Theory's highest scores include the use case criteria of "Brand Portfolio Management', "Omnichannel Marketing Strategy and Planning' and "Insights Driven Business'. Full marks were also given to Gain Theory in the criteria of "Unified Measurement Methodology', "Marketing Strategy Consulting', "Business Strategy Consulting' and "Change Management Consulting'.

Of note is the top mark possible given to Gain Theory in "Unified Measurement Methodology'. The report states "Gain Theory's long–term approach is to advance its planning and optimization recommendations by incorporating more customer behaviors and data signals."

With regard to Gain Theory's ability to advise on enterprise–wide business growth levers, top marks were also given in the "Business Strategy Consulting" criterion which evaluated vendors' ability to apply its measurement and optimization capabilities across areas such as customer churn analysis, pricing analysis, demand generation analysis and other functional insights.

"At a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, organizations need a more holistic and future–facing approach to accelerating growth. We have enabled our clients to do this by activating smart business strategies that fuse hindsight, insight, and foresight. We are delighted about our position as a Leader in Forrester's Wave report," said Gain Theory Global CEO, Manjiry Tamhane, "It confirms for us the unique value that we deliver to our clients globally who trust us to focus on what matters the most, simplify the complex at speed, and ultimately make a meaningful difference to their business performance."

About Gain Theory

Gain Theory is a global foresight consultancy, focused on accelerating growth for ambitious brands.

Our experts in data, advanced analytics, technology and consultancy fuse hindsight, insight, and foresight to improve investment decisions and activate growth at speed.

Available in 62 markets, our award–winning solutions and highly specialized vertical expertise support clients via four measurement and optimization pillars: Foundations for Growth, Data Excellence, Growth Accelerators and Activating for Growth.

To focus on what matters the most for clients, Gain Theory's proprietary Marketing Effectiveness Index evaluates and benchmarks marketing effectiveness maturity "" establishing critical gaps standing in the way of accelerated growth. Built on data, the Marketing Effectiveness Index benchmarks against sector and industry to help inform transformational roadmap priorities.

Gain Theory is"a"WPP"agency"(NYSE: WPP).""""

Find out more at www.gaintheory.com and follow our social channels via LinkedIn or Twitter.

For press queries please contact:
Claudia Sestini
Global CMO, Gain Theory
claudia.sestini@gaintheory.com


Tap Community to Stop Human Trafficking, says Survivor

Trafficking survivor turned activist, and consultant Shamere McKenzie trains authorities and mentors survivors. The use of technology and awareness of how to spot and avoid traps used by human traffickers. Credit: Zadie Neufville/IPS

By Zadie Neufville
Kingston, Jan 31 2022 – A single line at the end of the United States State Department 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report made headlines in Jamaica and had many perturbed. “Some police allegedly facilitated or participated in sex trafficking,” it read.

While the report cited no incidents, investigations, or police officers’ convictions for sex trafficking, Jamaicans on social media called for investigations. People cited the increasing levels of sexual abuse reported during the COVID-19 pandemic as justification.

US authorities have categorised Jamaica as “a source, transit, and destination country for adults and children trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labour”.

Manager of the Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Secretariat Chenee Russell Robinson told journalists recently that more than 110 victims of sex trafficking were rescued in the last ten years. At an average of ten per year, she believes the number is far too high “because this number represents only the tip of the iceberg”.

Some matters are before the court, and investigations into other activities were ongoing, noting that while girls make up the majority of sex trafficking victims, there are a growing number of boys, too, she said.

Between 2015 and 2019, the number of teens reported missing on the island averaged approximately 1,400 a year, data from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency shows. With numbers increasing annually and the figures for those returning home or recovered declining, the spectre of a rising sex trafficking trade is becoming one of the biggest worries for local authorities.

Child protection activists believe that most missing children who do not return home are victims of sex trafficking. Here, it is not uncommon for families, including mothers, to traffic their girl children in exchange for monetary or material payment, police say. This form of child sex trafficking may be more widespread in some communities.

Experts say that children who are sent by their parents to live with their more affluent relatives in urban areas regularly become victims. And according to the State Department report: “Sex trafficking of Jamaican women and children, including boys, occurs on streets and in nightclubs, bars, massage parlours, hotels and private homes, and resort towns”.

So, while the report commends Jamaica for its strides and multi-agency approach to combatting human trafficking, it scolds the government for reduced spending, a fall-off in apprehension and training. It also criticised the absence of “long-term services to support victims’ reintegration, prevent re-exploitation, or sustain protection throughout lengthy court cases”.

The report noted that Jamaica “does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.” These efforts included a trafficking conviction with significant prison terms and restitution paid to the victim, a national referral mechanism that aims to standardise procedures for victim identification, referral to cross-government entities services and an annual report.

Significantly, authorities hold up several improvements The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, first enacted in 2007. Amendments speed up the prosecution of cases by introducing bench trials and increasing the penalties.

On July 9, 2013, the government amended the Act to increase incarceration periods to 20 years. The 2021 amendments removed the alternate and often controversial fine in place of imprisonment.

“Now a person convicted of trafficking can only be imprisoned or imprisoned and fined, so you cannot be fined only,” Russell explained.

Trafficking survivor turned activist, and consultant Shamere McKenzie told IPS in an interview that community awareness, involvement, and the use of technology to enhance the safety of possible victims could be the tools that tip Jamaica into Tier 1.

“There’s a lot we can do as a community to help our young people shape their morals and values and build their sense of awareness,” she said, noting that traffickers can recognise people with low self-esteem.

Since 2016 authorities have funded the development of two apps – Stay Alert and Travel Plan – to make it safer for especially young girls and women who use public transport. McKenzie believes communities and parents must learn to use technologies to keep their children safe.

“We should be teaching people how to protect themselves, how to memorise numbers, develop code words, develop safety methods and use text messages to protect themselves,” said McKenzie, who mentors survivors and educates others on how to spot and avoid the traps.

A former student-athlete, she was lured by someone she thought was a caring friend into 18-months of living hell. Sidelined by a serious hamstring injury, the young Jamaican’s athletics scholarship to a top United States university was suspended. She was forced to work for the extra money she needed for school fees and rent when she accepted a friend’s help.

The short-term offer of a rent-free basement apartment and ‘extra work’ at the trafficker’s nightclub turned into forced sex work after being beaten into submission by a man she believed to be her friend.

While this episode took place in the US, it is not uncommon for Jamaicans and foreigners to be lured young women into prostitution by offering them jobs or simply ’a better life’.

In 2016, a court sentenced Rohan Ebanks to 40 years and imprisoned and fined his common-law wife Voneisha Reeves after trafficking a 14-year-old Haitian girl. The judge convicted Ebanks for rape, trafficking, and facilitating trafficking in person while his co-accused had pleaded guilty to facilitating trafficking.

The fisherman had met the girl’s father on one of his many trips to Haiti and had convinced him to send her to Jamaica for a better life. Three years after the ordeal began, police rescued the teen from Ebanks and Reeve’s home, where she had been looking after the couple’s children.

As the pandemic progresses, Robinson and other members of the Traffic in Persons (TiP) task force warn parents that traffickers have gone online, making it more difficult to track them. They’ve also warned teens and their parents that families are also trafficking their relatives.

The 110 rescued by the TiP task force are among the .04 per cent of the estimated human trafficking survivors worldwide identified. The number is an indicator that most go undetected.

Experts conclude that assessing the scope of human trafficking is difficult because many cases go undetected. However, estimates are between 20 million and 40 million people n modern slavery today earn the perpetrators roughly 150 billion US dollars annually. Some 99 billion US dollars comes from commercial sexual exploitation.

“We must begin to teach our youth to use the technology we have to protect themselves,” McKenzie said.

This article is part of a series of features from across the globe on human trafficking. IPS coverage is supported by the Airways Aviation Group.
The Global Sustainability Network ( GSN )  is pursuing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 8 with a special emphasis on Goal 8.7, which ‘takes immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms’.
The origins of the GSN come from the endeavours of the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders signed on 2 December 2014. Religious leaders of various faiths gathered to work together “to defend the dignity and freedom of the human being against the extreme forms of the globalization of indifference, such as exploitation, forced labour, prostitution, human trafficking”.

 


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Attacking Iran is a Recipe for a Catastrophe

By Alon Ben-Meir
NEW YORK, Jan 31 2022 – Regardless of a success or failure to reach a new agreement with Iran, Israel must not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and must work closely with the US to develop a joint strategy to curb Iran’s ambition to acquire nuclear weapons and potentially end the conflict with Iran on a more permanent basis

Righting the Wrong

Israel’s repeated threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities irrespective of any outcome in the negotiations in Vienna between the P5+1 (France, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, the US, and Germany) and Iran is a recipe for disaster.

Prime Minister Bennett’s argument that Israel will not abide by any agreement, not only because Israel is not a party in the negotiations but because Israel alone will determine what’s best to safeguard its national security, is a fallacy.

Given the complexity and the far-reaching implications of a potential Israeli attack, the only proper path to address Iran’s nuclear program is by fully coordinating and developing a joint strategy with the US to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambition to acquire nuclear weapons while seeking an end to the conflict.

It is critical that the Bennett-Lapid government not repeat Netanyahu’s disastrous mistake of opposing the JCPOA, which subsequently Netanyahu persuaded Trump to withdraw from altogether. As a result of the US’ withdrawal from the deal, Iran has only advanced its nuclear weapons program—enriching a significant amount of uranium to 60 percent, which is only a short leap to enriching it to weapons-grade 90 percent, and in enough quantity to produce one nuclear weapon in short order.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said recently, “The reason we’re in the situation we’re in right now is because the previous administration pulled out of the Iran deal and we are paying the wages of that catastrophic mistake.”

Bennett’s repeated threats to attack Iran could lead to miscalculation and dire unintended consequences that Israel cannot possibly cope with on its own. Israel must work hand-in-hand with the US to address Iran’s nuclear program now and in the future, and must not resort to a military option without the full support of the US.

The Bennett government must carefully consider the ominous outcome such an attack could precipitate, from which Israel as well as the entire region will suffer unimaginably.

The ominous repercussions of an Israeli attack

Israel’s repeated threats are unwise and do nothing but provide Iran ample time to prepare for any contingency. Mossad director David Barnea recently stated that “Iran will not have nuclear weapons—not in the coming years, not ever. This is my personal commitment: This is the Mossad’s commitment.”

Knowing the Iranian mindset, such a statement is counterproductive and does nothing but stiffen Iran’s position. Even if Israel is planning such an attack, advertising it repeatedly in advance drastically undermines its effectiveness.

Iran is already fortifying its air defenses, especially around its nuclear facilities, and putting in place offensive capabilities that can exact a heavy price from Israel should such an attack materialize. Indeed, Israel can inflict a devastating blow on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but it cannot destroy all of them nor the Iranian knowhow. Such an attack, however overwhelming, would only set back Iran’s nuclear program for two to three years.

It is a given that an Israeli attack would force Tehran to retaliate directly against Israel by firing ballistic missiles that can reach major Israeli cities, potentially causing widespread destruction and thousands of casualties. Iran will also ensure that Hezbollah, which is in possession of 150,000 rockets, will enter the fray and fire thousands of rockets that can reach every corner of the country.

Regardless of how effective Israel’s air defense may be, its Iron Dome and Arrow interceptors cannot possibly intercept tens of thousands of short, medium, and long-range rockets. Moreover, Hamas too may well join the fight, in addition to a third front with Syria, from where Iranian proxies will attack Israel. Israel’s economy will be shattered, and past conflagrations with Hamas alone attest to this fact.

Many Israeli military experts believe that Israel does not have the aerial capability to attack Iran more than once, nor can it destroy all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, as they are scattered around the country and several are built a hundred or more feet underground. It will require several days and multiple attacks, which Israel does not have the capability to conduct.

Although all the Arab Gulf states would like to see Iran’s nuclear facilities eliminated, they want to avoid a war because even a limited Israeli attack could engulf the entire region and beyond. In many conversations I had with officials from the Gulf, nearly all of them prefer containment of Iran’s nuclear program and deterrence spearheaded by the US to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to ensure that Iran will be unable to threaten or intimidate its neighbors.

Finally, whereas Israeli attacks on Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear facilities (in 1981 and 2007, respectively) did not spread radioactive material into the atmosphere because no uranium was present, Iran has a stockpile of uranium purified to various degrees. Thus, an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would have disastrous environmental consequences.

From the Iranian perspective, acquiring nuclear weapons would deter any aggressor, including the US, from attacking it. Iran wants to stand on equal footing with Sunni Pakistan to its east and Jewish Israel to its west, both of whom are nuclear powers.

This partly explains why Iran does not bend easily and why it is assuming such a hard position at the negotiations in Vienna, even though it wants badly to have the sanctions lifted to salvage its ailing economy.

The need for a full US-Israeli collaboration

Attacking Iran without the US’ acquiescence, if not outright support, will seriously undermine Israel-US relations which Jerusalem cannot afford. Collaboration and coordination between the two countries is and will remain central in dealing effectively with Iran.

This is particularly important because the Iranian clergy wants to avoid any military confrontation with the US, fearing a disastrous outcome. Indeed, a US military assault on Iran could precipitate regime change, which the Iranian leadership fears the most and wants to prevent at any cost.

For this reason, to deter Iran, it is critical for the Bennett-Lapid government to work closely with the Biden administration and support any new agreement that may be reached between Iran and the P5+1. The Biden administration is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and Israel must trust the US to do whatever necessary to that end, especially because Israel cannot and must not act alone.

The failure or the success to reach a new agreement

Should the P5+1 fail to reach a new agreement, the US and Israel must develop a joint strategy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons based on containment and deterrence. This includes the imposition of additional crippling sanctions, cyber-attacks on vital Iranian installations, and sabotaging its nuclear facilities, among other disabling measures.

In addition, the US should make it clear that all options are on the table, including military force, which could pose a significant risk of regime change, which terrifies Iran. In addition, the US should seriously consider a strategic game-changer move by providing a nuclear umbrella to cover Israel and the Gulf states.

Should a new agreement be reached, which seems increasingly likely, it will be expected to include rolling back the number of operational centrifuges and reducing the quantity and the enrichment quality of uranium, while extending the sunset clauses beyond the original dates to prevent Iran from resuming its nuclear weapons program within a few years. In addition, a new deal will obviously restore the most stringent and infallible monitoring system to thwart Iran from cheating.

Beyond these measures, however, the US must strive to end the conflict with Iran on a more permanent basis. The Biden administration ought to initiate back-channel talks to address Iran’s nefarious regional activity, its arming and financially aiding of extremist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, its ballistic missile program, and its hegemonic ambitions.

In addition, due to Israel’s profound and legitimate concerns about its national security, the Biden administration must make it unequivocally clear to Iran that it must end its repeated existential threats against Israel. Iran’s clergy must understand that such threats could precipitate a disastrous conflagration—intentional or unintentional—that could engulf the entire region from which Iran will suffer greatly.

In return, if Iran embraces such a moderate path, the US should promise publicly that it will not seek now or at any time in the future regime change, which for the clergy is a do-or-die proposition. Moreover, the US would embark on a gradual normalization of relations on all fronts.

To be sure, when there is a breakdown in any conflict there is often an opportunity for a breakthrough. Iran does not want to remain a pariah state and always be on the defensive, and the US and Israel will be much better off if Iran joins the community of nations as a constructive player on the international stage.

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a retired professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University (NYU). He taught courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies for over 20 years.
alon@alonben-meir.com
www.alonben-meir.com

 


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Debunking Demographic Denialism

The larger the population size, the greater are the consequences on climate, environment, biodiversity and pollution. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

By Joseph Chamie
PORTLAND, USA, Jan 31 2022 – Demographic denialism is increasingly appearing in countries across the globe. Various government officials, politicians, business leaders, media commentators and others are blatantly denying demographic realities and likely future trends and advancing falsehoods.

The apparent reasons behind the denials and falsehoods include politics, profits, power, discrimination, notoriety, hopes, beliefs, contrariness, trepidation and escapism. Some of the more frequently promoted denials are considered below with information on demographic realities and likely future trends.

First, world population is NOT collapsing any time soon. World population has quadrupled over the past 100 years, from 2 to 8 billion and is expected to reach 10 billion around midcentury (Figure 1).

 

Source: United Nations.

 

While the rapid growth of world population in the 20th century has passed, the world’s population is expected to continue growing over the coming decades. World population is now increasing by about 80 million annually and 2 billion additional people are expected by 2056.

Second, the distribution of the world’s population across the planet will NOT remain as it has been throughout much of the past. In 1950, for example, six of the ten largest populations were developed countries. By the close of the 20th century, however, three developed countries were among the ten largest populations and by 2050 one developed country is expected to be among them.

Today some populations, largely in developed regions, are declining mainly due to more deaths than births and will likely be considerably smaller over the coming years. Other populations, mainly in developing regions, are increasing rapidly with substantially more births than deaths.

For example, of the projected 1.8 billion increase in world population by 2050, 1.1 billion, or about 60 percent, is expected to occur in Africa and about a 0.6 billion, or 32 percent, in Asia. In contrast, the populations of Northern America and Europe, are projected to increase by 52 million, a 3 percent increase, and decrease by 37 million, a 2 percent decline, respectively (Figure 2).

 

Source: United Nations.

 

Third, international migration is NOT being resolved by high walls, long fences, sea patrols, immigrant visas or calls for people not to come. Immigration is a 21st century crisis with the numbers wishing to migrate far exceeding the levels acceptable to destination countries.

Governments, international agencies and regional organizations have not come up with workable solutions to address immigration. Authorities appear at a loss at what to do about the waves of migrants desiring employment, claiming asylum, seeking refuge, escaping climate change and risking their lives for decent living conditions.

International migration is NOT being resolved by high walls, long fences, sea patrols, immigrant visas or calls for people not to come. Immigration is a 21st century crisis with the numbers wishing to migrate far exceeding the levels acceptable to destination countries

Also, most unauthorized migrants are not being repatriated. Once unauthorized migrants are in the country, governments encounter difficulties sending them back to their home countries. After a lapse of time, an amnesty or a path to citizenship may be offered to those who are established. However, such actions can also serve as an incentive for others to migrate illegally.

Fourth, population size is NOT inconsequential for climate change, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and pollution. The larger the population size, the greater are the consequences on climate, environment, biodiversity and pollution through increased demands for energy, water, food, housing, land, resources, material goods, machinery, transportation, etc.

Government leaders as well as many of their economic advisors are not prepared to acknowledge that population stabilization and degrowth are essential for addressing climate change. As witnessed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, limiting population growth was not part of climate change negotiations.

In contrast to most country leaders who favor the continued growth of their respective populations, thousands of scientists worldwide are urging governments to stabilize or reduce the size of their populations along with other critical actions related to energy, short-lived pollutants, nature, food and the economy. Such actions would contribute significantly to efforts to address climate change and environmental degradation.

Fifth, the ageing of human populations is NOT a temporary phenomenon, and most governments are ill-prepared to deal with its wide-ranging consequences. For most countries and much of the world, youthful populations are the past and significantly older populations are the inescapable future.

Population ageing is the result of lower birth rates and increased longevity. The world’s fertility rate is half the level of the 1950s, 5 versus 2.5 births per woman, and life expectancy at birth has increased by more than 50 percent since then, from 47 to 73 years.

Population ageing is increasingly affecting fundamental aspects of human societies, including economics, taxes, employment, housing, pensions, healthcare and disabilities. Rather than hoping for a return to youthful age structures, government officials, business leaders and others need to prepare for population ageing.

Sixth, the vaccinated and unvaccinated for the coronavirus do NOT have similar mortality and morbidity rates. Being vaccinated substantially decreases the chances of death and illness from the virus.

Remaining unvaccinated unequivocally results in higher rates of mortality and morbidity. Unfortunately, those higher levels have contributed to declines in life expectancies at birth and heavily burdened communities where large numbers remain unvaccinated.

In brief, being unvaccinated increases the chances of death and illness from the coronavirus. In contrast, the coronavirus vaccines, like past vaccines for major diseases, such as smallpox, tetanus, hepatitis, rubella, pertussis, pneumonia, measles, and polio, are effective in reducing mortality rates, illness, the virus’ spread and societal costs.

Seventh, women do NOT want to remain in the home. During the 20th century, significant social, economic, and political progress was achieved in women’s equality. That progress has been greatly facilitated by improvements in women’s health, education, employment, urbanization, delayed marriage and childbearing, and declines in family size.

The traditional stay-at-home mom is increasingly being replaced by the working mom. Growing numbers of women are seeking higher education, careers, economic independence and personal social identity.

Also, many women do not want to return to matrimonial inequalities where husbands were household heads, made major decisions and controlled finances and property. However, some conservative groups are resisting attempts to achieve gender equality and seek to maintain traditional roles and lifestyles. Simply stated, those groups want women to remain in the home and love, honor and obey their husbands.

Eighth, couples do NOT want to have many children. Despite public hissy fits, policies and incentives by officials, business leaders and others aimed at raising fertility, birth rates are not likely to return to the comparatively high levels of the past.

In country after country, most couples who decide to have children are having one or two. As fewer women are giving birth to four or more children, fertility rates have fallen in every major region. Except for sub-Saharan Africa, the fertility rates of most countries will likely be below replacement in the coming decades (Figure 3).

 

Source: United Nations.

 

Ninth, most nations are NOT against induced abortion. Countries vary in their policies concerning abortions depending on the specific grounds. Abortions are permitted in 98 percent of countries to save the life of the woman, 72 percent for a woman’s physical health, 60 percent for rape, incest or fetal impairment, and 34 percent at the woman’s request (Figure 4).

 

Source: United Nations.

 

Over the past five decades, an unmistakable trend has taken place in the liberalization of abortion laws. The trend has coincided with a decline in abortion rates worldwide.

Making abortions illegal, however, does not prevent abortions from occurring. Even when abortions are severely restricted, illegal abortions take place in relatively large numbers. Approximately 8 percent of maternal deaths globally are the result of complications from unsafe abortions, with nearly all taking placing in developing countries.

Tenth, the traditional family is NOT the overwhelming societal norm worldwide. A working father, stay-at-home mom, several children, and a marriage “until death do us part” are increasingly characteristics of families in the past.

In many countries being married has become less of a necessity for financial survival, social interaction and personal fulfillment. More people are cohabiting, increasing proportions of couples are having births outside marriage, and many governments help single-parent families. In addition, same-sex marriages are now performed and recognized in 31 countries.

In conclusion, it is worrisome that demographic denialism is spreading in countries worldwide. Some are not only denying demographic realities but also advancing falsehoods. Presenting demographic realities and likely future trends openly, accurately and objectively can contribute to debunking demographic denialism.

* Joseph Chamie is a consulting demographer, a former director of the United Nations Population Division and author of numerous publications on population issues, including his recent book, “Births, Deaths, Migrations and Other Important Population Matters.”

Sasakawa’s Epoch-Making Quest to End Discrimination of Leprosy Affected People

WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, Yohei Sasakawa, would like to create a society where there is social inclusion. It is this philosophy that motivates his life-long campaign to end discrimination against people affected by leprosy. Credit: Sasakawa Leprosy Initiative

By Cecilia Russell
Johannesburg, Jan 30 2022 – For the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, Yohei Sasakawa, ensuring affected peoples’ human rights is fundamental to the campaign to eradicate the disease.

In an exclusive interview with IPS on the eve of World Leprosy Day, he recalled his first encounter with people affected by leprosy, saying they were “without dreams or hopes and there was no light in their eyes.”

Sasakawa’s father, Ryoichi, hugged the patients in the newly opened hospital in Korea. He then realized that returning hope to people affected by leprosy could be his life’s work.

This work has continued for more than 40 years, but it is not over yet.

“People who should be part of society remain isolated in colonies facing hardships,” Sasakawa, who is also the chairman of the Nippon Foundation, says.

“Isn’t it strange that someone cured of a disease can’t take their place in society? I belatedly realized that if the human rights aspect wasn’t addressed, then elimination of leprosy in a true sense would not be possible,” explaining the rationale for approaching the United Nations in 2003.

As a result, a resolution on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members was unanimously adopted by 192 countries voting in the UN General Assembly.

While Covid-19 has temporarily ended his travels, his work is far from complete. Once the pandemic is over, Sasakawa intends to continue his travels worldwide to bring onboard top officials and politicians – presidents and prime ministers – while spreading hope to affected people.

In the interim, the global ‘Don’t Forget Leprosy’ campaign by the Sasakawa Leprosy Initiative continues. The initiative strategically links the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, Sasakawa Health Foundation, and the Nippon Foundation towards achieving a leprosy-free world.

Sasakawa says his message is clear:  1) Leprosy is curable. 2) Medication is free. 3) Discrimination has no place.

“When people are still being discriminated against even after being cured, society has a disease. If we can cure society of this disease—discrimination—it would be truly epoch-making.”

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, has served as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination since 2001. He plays a leading role in the Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative, which has organized the “Don’t Forget Leprosy” campaign.

Cecilia Russell: In your message to the world for World Leprosy Day, you expressed concern that the decrease in the number of cases detected was because the Covid-19 pandemic meant that less testing was done. How can leprosy-affected people get back on track?

Yohei Sasakawa: Many issues have been sidelined because of the Covid-19 pandemic, among them the challenges posed by leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. According to the Global Leprosy Update for 2020, there was a 37% year-on-year decrease in new cases due to disruptions to case-finding activities. There are concerns that hidden cases will lead to increased transmission and result in more cases with disabilities. On the other hand, while figures vary from country to country, the overall treatment completion rate remains at the same level as the previous year, indicating that stakeholders are working hard to maintain services, even in the midst of the global pandemic.

Even in normal times, health ministries have jurisdiction over all kinds of diseases. Compared to diseases such as TB, AIDS, or malaria, however, there are few cases of leprosy, so budgets and personnel are limited. Patients, meanwhile, might not visit a hospital because the long history of stigma attached to the disease makes it difficult, or because in its early stages, symptoms are painless. That’s why I feel it is necessary to meet with those at the top of the country and have them issue a call to eliminate leprosy. Once the COVID situation eases, I want to visit countries and encourage presidents and prime ministers to recognize the importance of this issue and seek their cooperation in helping activities against the disease to resume.

At the same time, I believe that the participation of people who have experienced the disease is also very important. There are so many things that people can do, such as active case-finding, mental support for people undergoing treatment, and awareness-raising. In 2011, the WHO issued guidelines on strengthening the participation of persons affected by leprosy in leprosy services in such areas as a way to improve the quality of leprosy services.

CR: You have chosen as a life’s work to raise awareness of both the disease and the impact of the stigma of leprosy. This is an age-old stigma and was considered a sign of impurity in Christian biblical times. How has an awareness of leprosy as a human rights issue changed perceptions about the disease? What more needs to be done?

YS: I started working on leprosy in the 1970s and have been the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination since 2001. People who should be part of society remain isolated in colonies facing hardships. The more you look into it, the more you see the restrictions they live under, including legal restrictions in some cases. Isn’t it strange that someone cured of a disease can’t take their place in society? I belatedly realized that if the human rights aspect wasn’t addressed, then elimination of leprosy in a true sense would not be possible. That’s when I first approached the United Nations about this in 2003.

In 2007, the Japanese government appointed me as its Goodwill Ambassador for the Human Rights of Persons Affected by Leprosy. Collaboration with the Japanese government led in December 2010 to a UN General Assembly resolution on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members to call on states to full consideration of Principles and Guidelines. The resolution was adopted unanimously by 192 countries.

Discrimination toward persons affected by leprosy and their families should never be tolerated. That’s why the Principles and Guidelines were approved.

Although they are not binding, given the reality that even treaties ratified by states, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, are difficult to implement, we need to think of them as a tool to be used by stakeholders, including persons affected by leprosy, when advocating with governments to fix the problems.

When people are still being discriminated against even after they have been cured, then society has a disease. If we can cure society of this disease—discrimination—it would be truly epoch-making.

CR: Could you please tell our readers about your father and his role in influencing you to make this mission a life’s work?

YS: My father Ryoichi also served as a member of Parliament. He was a man who was especially compassionate toward the vulnerable and dedicated his life to them. Concerning leprosy, in particular, there was an incident where a young lady living in the neighborhood suddenly disappeared, and he later found out she had been segregated due to leprosy. He had a very strong sense of justice and took exception to the fact that something so unreasonable was permitted on the basis of a disease.

In 1962, my father established the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation, the forerunner of The Nippon Foundation, and began social contribution activities. In 1967, he started work in earnest on realizing his long-held dream of eradicating leprosy with the construction of some new facilities for a leprosy center in Agra, India. With the establishment of the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (now Sasakawa Health Foundation) in 1974, efforts to tackle the disease stepped up.

My father built leprosy hospitals, mainly in Southeast Asia. I was young and often accompanied him, but I didn’t go inside the hospitals. In the mid-1970s, he responded to a request to build a leprosy hospital in Korea. I went with him to the opening ceremony and entered a leprosy hospital for the first time. Everyone sat on the bed facing us, but they were completely expressionless. Their faces were ashen-colored; they were without dreams or hopes, and there was no light in their eyes.

I was really surprised to see my father go to every bed, hug each person, and encourage them in a very natural way, unconcerned by the pus oozing from their bandages. Discovering a world that I had not encountered before and seeing how naturally my father behaved, I wondered if this would be my life’s work. Since then, I have been active in leprosy.

CR: In some countries, people affected by leprosy are still confined to leprosy colonies. How do you see your role as WHO Goodwill ambassador and the Don’t Forget Leprosy campaign changing these perceptions around a treatable disease? What is needed to change the perception about leprosy and remove the stigma?

YS: Thinking strategically about how to make people aware of the importance of this problem and how to solve it is very important. You have to convince heads of state in each country. If a budget is allocated as a result of meeting with and explaining the situation to the head of state, if the president orders it—then the person in charge at the ministry of health or the leprosy program manager will be greatly encouraged in their work.

On the other hand, it is also very important to reach the many people without knowledge of leprosy and allay their fears explain that it’s not hereditary, it’s not divine punishment, it’s not highly contagious. Wherever I go, I always stress: 1) Leprosy is curable; 2) Medication is free; 3) Discrimination has no place. For that, the help of the media is necessary, so one of my very important tasks is to have a proper media strategy.

Also, as we now live in an era where every individual can publicize leprosy issues via social media, I think it is important that everyone concerned with these issues actively raises them, not as issues affecting someone else, but as personal issues.

CR: You have been involved in numerous other humanitarian endeavors, apart from your 40-year-old association with leprosy and your role as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination. These include the Change for Blue campaign, and you acted as a special envoy of the Japanese government to try to bring peace to Myanmar. Do you have a philosophy about humanitarian work that guides you?

YS: One of my philosophies in life is the ‘on-site principle’: problems and their solutions are found in the field. Another is that social actions require that you keep your enthusiasm bubbling over, regardless of your age, and have the mental fortitude to withstand any difficulties. In addition, you have to keep going until you achieve results. I’ve acted on the basis of these three ideas.

CR: Is there anything else you would like to add?

YS: There are more than 1 billion people in the world living with disabilities, including persons affected by leprosy. We need to create an inclusive society where everyone can have an education, find work and get married if they want to. People have the passion and the motivation; often, all they lack is opportunity.

I would like to create a society where everyone feels fully engaged, able to express their opinions, and appreciated. The coming era must be one of diversity, and for that, we need social inclusion. There is such ability and potential in the world, and to have everyone participate in society will create a truly wonderful future.

That’s why it’s important for persons affected by leprosy to have confidence and speak out. To support them, Sasakawa Health Foundation and The Nippon Foundation are helping them to build up their organizational capacity. I’d like to see a society in which everyone is active, able to express their opinions to the authorities with confidence, and their contribution is valued.

 

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ROSEN, A TOP RANKED LAW FIRM, Encourages Cloopen Group Holding Limited Investors with Losses to Secure Counsel Before Important February 8 Deadline in Securities Class Action – RAAS

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Cloopen Group Holding Limited (NYSE: RAAS): (i) pursuant and/or traceable to the registration statement and prospectus (collectively, the "Registration Statement") issued in connection with the Company's February 2021 initial public offering (the "IPO"); and/or (ii) between February 9, 2021 and May 10, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period"), of the important February 8, 2022 lead plaintiff deadline.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Cloopen securities you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Cloopen class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2223.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than February 8, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources or any meaningful peer recognition. Many of these firms do not actually litigate securities class actions. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, the Registration Statement was false and misleading and defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Cloopen's growth strategy was not working; (2) Cloopen's existing customers were abandoning the Company; (3) an increasing number of Cloopen's customers were refusing to pay; (4) as a result, the Company was forced to record massive increases in its accounts receivables and allowance for doubtful accounts; (5) Cloopen was weighed down by huge liabilities related to the fair value of certain recently–granted warrants; (6) defendants continued to misrepresent the Company's expansion strategy; and (7) Cloopen's dollar–based net retention rate had tumbled in 4Q 2020. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Cloopen class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2223.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


ROSEN, A GLOBALLY RECOGNIZED FIRM, Encourages FirstCash Holdings, Inc. Investors with Losses to Secure Counsel Before Important Deadline in Securities Class Action – FCFS

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, announces the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of FirstCash Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCFS) between February 1, 2018 and November 12, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period"). A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than March 15, 2022.

SO WHAT: If you purchased FirstCash securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the FirstCash class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2219.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than March 15, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources or any meaningful peer recognition. Many of these firms do not actually litigate securities class actions. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) FirstCash had made more than 3,600 loans to over 1,000 active–duty members of the military and their families at usurious interest rates above 36% "" and often exceeding 200% "" in violation of the Military Lending Act ("MLA") and a consent order (the "Order") with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"); (2) FirstCash had failed to implement the remedial measures imposed by the Order; (3) FirstCash's financial results were, in substantial part, the product of FirstCash's violations of the MLA and the Order; and (4) as a result, FirstCash was exposed to a material undisclosed risk of legal, reputational, and financial harm if FirstCash's violations of the MLA and the Order were ever publicly disclosed. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the FirstCash class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2219.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


ROSEN, GLOBAL INVESTOR COUNSEL, Encourages Desktop Metal, Inc. Investors with Losses to Secure Counsel Before Important Deadline in Securities Class Action – DM

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Desktop Metal, Inc. (NYSE: DM) between March 15, 2021 and November 15, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period") of the important February 22, 2022 lead plaintiff deadline.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Desktop Metal securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Desktop Metal class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2205.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than February 22, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources or any meaningful peer recognition. Many of these firms do not actually litigate securities class actions. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) there were deficiencies in EnvisionTEC's manufacturing and product compliance practices and procedures; (2) the foregoing deficiencies presented a material risk to the commercialization of EnvisionTEC's products; and (3) as a result of the foregoing, defendants' positive statements about Desktop Metal's business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Desktop Metal class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2205.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


ROSEN, GLOBAL INVESTOR COUNSEL, Encourages Arrival SA Investors to Secure Counsel Before Important February 22 Deadline in Securities Class Action – ARVL

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Arrival SA (NASDAQ: ARVL) between November 18, 2020 and November 19, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period"), of the important February 22, 2022 lead plaintiff deadline.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Arrival securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Arrival class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2231.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than February 22, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources, or any meaningful peer recognition. Many of these firms do not actually litigate securities class actions. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Arrival would record a substantially greater net loss and adjusted EBITDA loss in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020; (2) Arrival would experience far greater capital and operational expense to operate and deploy its microfactories and manufacture EV vehicles than it had disclosed; (3) Arrival would not capitalize on or achieve profitability or provide meaningful revenue in the time periods disclosed; (4) Arrival would not achieve its disclosed production and sales volumes; (5) Arrival would not meet the disclosed production rollout deadlines; (6) accordingly, Arrival materially overstated its financial and operational position and/or prospects; and (7) as a result, defendants' public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Arrival class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases–register–2231.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


Boys Sold by Trusted Villager Turned Human Trafficker

Friends Ajay and Durgesh are returned to their families with the help of ActionAid India and the All India Bonded Labour Liberation Front. The boys were tricked into bonded labour by a trusted fellow villager. Credit: ActionAid

By Mehru Jaffer
Lucknow, India, Jan 28 2022 – Friends Ajay and Durgesh were lured from the same village in the remote and poverty-stricken countryside of eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP) in January 2021.

Friends Ajay and Durgesh were lured from the same village in the remote and poverty-stricken countryside of eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP) in January 2021.

The boys, aged 16, were whisked away from their homes, transported, and sold as bonded labour to a garment factory in Rajkot in the western state of Gujarat. Rajkot is some 2000 km from Ajay and Durgesh’s village in UP.

Along with two other boys from the same village, Sanjay (15) and Pavan (14), Ajay and Durgesh were befriended by a man, only identified as Gulab, and promised an eight-hour a day job, with a salary of Rs 7500 (about US 100 dollars) per month at a garment factory. The boys accepted the offer immediately because Gulab was from the same village and had known them since childhood.

“At the factory, the boys were thrown in with dozens of other children who were never paid. They were woken at 7 am and forced to work till 11 pm. The factory owner threatened to kill them if they stepped out of the factory,” Dalsinghar told IPS speaking from Lucknow. “The children were abused and kicked when the supervisor felt that they were not working fast enough. None of the children was given enough to eat.”

Dalsinghar, who goes by his surname, is a trade union leader and head of the UP office of the All India Bonded Labour Liberation Front. With ActionAid India, Dalsinghar helped to rescue the four boys in August 2021. The boys are now finishing their studies in their village.

These boys are lucky to have escaped the clutches of traffickers. Ajay found a mobile phone one day and quickly called his family. He told them the exact location of the factory in faraway Gujarat.

The family got in touch with Raju, a volunteer with ActionAid India, who lived near their village. With the help of Dalsinghar, Raju and the district administrations of Kushinagar in UP and Rajkot in Gujarat, the boys were rescued, and their eight-month ordeal at the hands of the garment factory owner ended.

There are numerous incidents of victims being deceived by people they know.

Families celebrate the return of four boys trafficked into bonded labour in a factory far from home. Credit: ActionAid, India

Take Gulab as an example. Gulab came from the same village as the four teenagers he trapped and sold to a garment factory owner.

In the hope of avoiding deprivation and starvation in difficult economic times, the teenagers took up Gulab’s offer. They trusted him and fell for his lies because it did not occur to them that he would betray them.

ActionAid quotes other instances when a loved one has tricked victims. When that happens, the victim often does not fight back.

Sita was sold to traffickers by her alcoholic father in a West Bengal village as a bride. She was taken from place to place until she found shelter in an ashram in a city in UP. The police were informed, and she returned to her village in West Bengal.

Frequently missing children and adults cases include abduction and trafficking. Most of the time, missing people are not reported to the police, and if reported, the reports are not registered.

Children from the poorest of low-income families are most vulnerable. They are the main target of traffickers as poor and illiterate families are most likely not to approach authorities for help. There are instances of children and adults leaving home searching for glamour and fortune in big cities like Mumbai. Once there, touts find them and force them to beg or work as sex slaves without remuneration or concern for their health.

ActionAid India continues to work in villages providing support to survivors of trafficking and violence with medical, psycho-social and legal support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that times are extremely challenging for communities. Schools closures and work opportunities in most villages have shrunk, which means that social activists like Dalsinghar need to be more vigilant today than ever before.

Nobel Peace Prize winners Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai have rescued thousands of children from the worst form of child labour and trafficking.

Satyarthi has led a Bharat Yatra, a nationwide march in India to demand legislation against child rape, child sexual abuse and trafficking.

The Kailash Satyarthi Children Foundation conducted a study in 2020 that concluded there was a high likelihood of an increase in human trafficking in the post-lockdown period for labour.

About 89 per cent of NGOs surveyed said that trafficking of both adults and children for labour would be one of the biggest threats in the post-lockdown period as household incomes of the most vulnerable deplete.

There is concern that the desperate and vulnerable populations of unorganised workers, who are in no position to negotiate wages or their rights, will be a massive pool for cheap labour. Many of these labourers could be children, forced out of school and forced to earn a living.

The fear is that thousands of children will likely be trafficked across the country to work in manufacturing units where they will be paid meagre to no wages and will most likely face extreme physical, mental and sexual violence.

Thousands of children like Ajay, Durgesh, Sanjay and Pavan are easy targets for an organised crime network of human trafficking. It is feared that many more children will be enslaved during the pandemic by those looking for cheap labour when many economic activities have come to a standstill.

“It is tragic when people betray the trust of children,” concludes Dalsinghar.

This article is part of a series of features from across the globe on human trafficking. IPS coverage is supported by the Airways Aviation Group.
The Global Sustainability Network ( GSN ) http://gsngoal8.com/ is pursuing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 8 with a special emphasis on Goal 8.7, which ‘takes immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms’.
The origins of the GSN come from the endeavours of the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders signed on 2 December 2014. Religious leaders of various faiths gathered to work together “to defend the dignity and freedom of the human being against the extreme forms of the globalization of indifference, such as exploitation, forced labour, prostitution, human trafficking”.

 


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