Shining a Spotlight on Dignity Coconuts this Human Trafficking Awareness Month: Empowering Communities, Preserving Dignity and Leading an Unwavering Battle Against Human Trafficking Amidst Global Challenges and Exploitation
Minneapolis, MN / January 2024 / Amid global challenges, Dignity Coconuts has emerged as a key player in the fight against human exploitation, contributing significantly to the efforts to eliminate trafficking in both the U.S. and the Philippines.
Key Contributions of Dignity Coconuts:
Empowering Vulnerable Communities: Dignity Coconuts provides coconut farmers with sustainable livelihoods that reduce the risk of trafficking. By creating economic opportunities, the organization addresses one of the root causes of exploitation.
Promoting Ethical Practices: Coconut farmers in the Philippines have been exploited through predatory loans and corrupt buying practices Through its commitment to ethical and fair trade practices, Dignity Coconuts is setting a high standard for businesses worldwide. By fostering transparency and fair compensation, the organization actively works against the conditions that enable human trafficking.
Community Engagement: Dignity Coconuts actively engages with local communities, working alongside them to identify and address the factors that make them susceptible to trafficking.
Erik Olson, president of Dignity Coconuts, was recently featured on CBS News to discuss their work and impact in the Philippines at length. In the interview, one of Dignity’s employees expressed her gratitude to the company saying: “The impact of Dignity has been incredible for me because I don’t have to find or to be away from my family to find a good paying job. Dignity also allowed me, as a woman, to have the confidence to be, that a woman can be a leader.”
Relevance in the Global Context:
Human Trafficking Statistics in the U.S.: According to Operation RoundUp, the United States remains the largest consumer of child pornography in the world. The main source for the porn content is trafficked children from the Philippines.
Philippines Trafficking Landscape: In 2022, an estimated 471,416 Filipino children fell victim to incidences of child sexual exploitation, which roughly constitutes 1 child in every 100 children in the Philippines. In 2023, the government identified the Philippines as a leading source of trafficking victims, emphasizing the crucial role of initiatives like Dignity Coconuts in addressing this issue.
Erik Olson expressed the urgency of solving the global issue of human trafficking, stating: “Over 30 million women and children woke up this morning, without the choice of what they’ll do, or who touches their body. There are more slaves today than anytime in history. Today, we have 3 times the amount of people caught and sold as slaves between the 15th and 19th century. And, alarmingly, 80% of noted sex trafficking survivors eventually get re-trafficked if they fail to find a safe and dignified job.”
About Dignity Coconuts
Dignity Coconuts is a social enterprise that is disrupting the coconut industry, which exploits farmers and puts them at-risk of trafficking. Their Award Winning Raw Coconut Oil is ethically and sustainably produced. Located in the poorest area of the Philippines, Dignity’s direct trade and community development provides a path for farmers to escape slavery and restore their dignity.