Tampa Mayor Proclaims “Stop Forced Child Labor Awareness Day” for Colors of the World Fashion Show for Human Rights
Youth for Human Rights of Florida and the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking together sponsored the "Colors of the World" fair trade fashion show for human rights on Saturday, 9 June 2012, from 1–4pm in Tampa. The event commemorates World Day Against Child Labor to raise awareness of ongoing violations of human rights of girls and boys around the world through enforced slave labor.
Marking the event, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn proclaimed the day “Stop Forced Child Labor Awareness Day.” In his official proclamation, Mayor Buckhorn noted, “Worldwide, 215 million children are engaged in forced labor,” and commended the organizations sponsoring the “Colors of the World” fashion show, which he said, “will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labor and from other violations of fundamental human rights.”
Human Trafficking affects over 25 million people throughout the world; it is one of the most horrible hidden crimes of our era. The most vulnerable victims are the children who are forced into labor thereby depriving them of adequate education, health and basic freedoms. Forced child labor not only entails hazardous environments and slave labor, but drug trafficking and prostitution as well. In the United States, the state of Florida is recognized as a hub for human trafficking.
The fashion show was held in the remodeled Ybor Square complex at 1300 East 8th Ave in Tampa. All proceeds from admission cost went to benefit the non-profit organizations which sponsored the event: Youth for Human Rights of Florida and Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
At the show 23 professional male and female models ranging from age 5 to 30 volunteered their time. Each wore clothes which are guaranteed to have been produced with fair labor, where workers are fairly compensated and treated and where no forced child labor occurs.
Seven different clothes designers and producers contributed clothing and accessories for the show – ranging from hats, boots and sandals from Peru and Ecuador to dresses, shirts and bags imported from Bali and Nepal. They were: Green Heart Shop (Chicago, Ill), Indigenous Designs (California), Urban Inca Shoes (Sarasota, FL), Green Veranda (Miami, FL), QRubini (St. Petersburg, FL), Avatar Imports (California) and Novica, in association with National Geographic.
A highlight of the event was a performance by singer/songwriter and human rights advocate Hanna-Li. She has traveled the world, performing across the US, the Caribbean, UK, South America and Africa. Hana-Li has sung with Isaac Hayes, Doug E. Fresh, Alberto Plaza, David Pomeranz, Angelo Pagan, David Campbell, Chick Corea, Mark Isham and James Barbour. Hanna-Li has a powerful message and a remarkable musical talent.
Read more about the fashion show in Vertical Tampa Bay magazine.
Since 2004, the non-profit Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking has been educating, advocating and working with law enforcement to end human trafficking in the State of Florida. For more information, please go to www.stophumantrafficking.org.
Educator Mary Shuttleworth founded the non-profit Youth for Human Rights in 2001. The purpose of the group is to popularize the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the right to not be enslaved or tortured. To find out more, please go to www.youthforhumanrights.org.