Friday, September 23, 2011


Words/Images Judith Ecochard

West 36th St. NYC

It's been many months since we attended the press event with actress Susan Sarandon-launching The Body  Shop's Stop Sex Trafficking Campaign/ ECPAT USA/The Somaly Mam Foundation's-Lend A Hand Campaign  

AND so we were more than happy to hear- at this recent media confab-heralding the luxury footwear/accessories brand- Jimmy Choo's leading light-Tamara Mellon OBE's---participation via her design talents- to stop what our pals' in the State Department deem---the most pressing problem they deal with-slavery---and in particular...the abuse of children...

THAT a lot of meaningful progress has been made...since.

With over 7 million signatures collected (and the largest campaign in The Body Shop's 35 year history, FYI) be presented to the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva. Yup-should make quite the impression.
The Limited Edition, reusable cotton ($5)- THE STOP BAG Designed by Tamara Mellon OBE-made by Community Fair Trade Supplier-Teddy Exports/India. 

We had a chance to chat with both The Body Shop's Shelley Simmons and Carol Smolenski (Executive Director of ECPAT USA) prior to the presentation.

Simmons pointed out to us that there has been real legislative change-with the campaign running in 65 countries --- yielding "tangible results"-worldwide-though of course, there is more that needs to be done. No surprise, "old fashion diplomacy" is the most effective means to convincing the unconvinced that coercing  children into slavery- to make ends meet---is not an acceptable economic MO.

We asked her about the added perils for children in an economic downturn---and she concurred "...children are more vulnerable...(but) children end up in this trade (sex slavery) from all backgrounds. All kids are's not a poverty issue, it's a criminal issue... there are no boundaries."

100% Net Proceeds will benefit The Body Shop's campaign partner  Somaly Mam Foundation

Tamara Mellon Lend's a Hand to the petition joining a distinguished list of celebs (like Nicole Kidman) and in 50 countries- regular folks that made a difference. Bravo

ALEX WEK-SUPER STAR Model and just a lovely woman in so many ways-- originally from Sudan..lends a hand. 

Carol Smolenski recounted for us that at the State government level, "...there is a change the way American kids are treated...legislators see that kids need help, not jail."
Tamara Mellon--- ever professional-gave seemingly endless interviews. Impressive.

Also at the event- were several State Department town for  the Clinton Global Initiative's and the UN's General Assembly's annual meetings-  that among other things...ties up Manhattan's traffic and has tax burdened New Yorkers' wondering who pays for all this added security. We sure hope they patronize NYC's restaurants and shop like mad---including buying The Body Shop's limited edition tote.

More importantly in the scheme of things---they told us about a new online application survey found at (or

Just so we know "that there's plenty of blame to go around" this algorithm survey---developed with  private, NGO and State Department funds---actually shows how what we consume, eat, buy---interacts with human slavery by tracing the supply chain back to the beginning--- of about 400, often used consumer items. Yikes.