Valley Focus: Fight with Fashion Aims To Battle Human Trafficking

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The crime of human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. According to Made For Them founder Andrea Shabaglian, the average age of entry is 12 years old.

Shabaglian was a recent guest on Valley Focus and sat down with host Margot Kim to talk about the work to combat human trafficking and the upcoming fundraiser Fight With Fashion.

Margot: And what do we need to know about human trafficking in our own neighborhoods, in our communities here in the Valley?

Andrea: Well, I think there's a few things to know and I do want everybody to understand.It is the second-largest,fastest-growing international crime. And if we stop and pause a little bit, I like to sort of kind of parallel it with drugs. When drugs, back in the '40s and '50s were climbing and growing, no one really wanted to talk about it."That's taboo. Not in my family. That's over there in that type of family or community."

And that's the same thing that's happening with human trafficking. We want to say, "No. That doesn't exist here, not in our community.I don't know anybody." But, pretty soon, we won't be able to say that as a community.

There's no race or socioeconomic that traffickers don't sort of target their next victim.

The conversation continues about Made For Them's annual fundraiser.

Margot: And tell us about that event.

Andrea: Yeah, so, I mentioned we're a social enterprise, so we have a clothing brand. And at Fight with Fashion, we release our new line for the season.We have worked with Syrian refugees, who are mothers displaced with their children in Turkey who have made some of our products, some women in Thailand. And then we have some survivor-made products, as well, from the Central Valley. But I believe in the power of art and communicating our stories, so there will be live dance performances and videos. We have a tremendous community of restaurants who are coming and supporting us. And so the night will definitely, I think, inspire everybody.

Watch the entire interview in the video which includes images of Fight with Fashion. Shabaglian encourages everyone to attend Fight With Fashion on Friday, March 2nd at 6 PM at Signature Flight Support in Fresno. The fundraiser for Made For Them includes keynote speaker Pat Hill, entertainment and a fashion show. Action News reporter Sontaya Rose will co-emcee with Nicole Giordano. Get ticket information here:
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