20th April 2013
The Human Toll of the Ivory Trade
IF YOU BUY IVORY, YOU KILL PEOPLE
Every year this criminal trade leaves behind a bloody trail of dead people, orphans, widows, exploited local communities and families destroyed.
Hundreds of rangers and law enforcement officers die each year trying to protect elephants and rhinos. A much higher number of poachers, villagers and poor people, lured by the high profits, lose their lives or get injured. Traders and international buyers exploit vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, families lose the breadwinners, profits fuel conflicts and terrorist activities, people is encouraged or forced to engage in criminal activities (e.g., breaking the law, possession and use of weapons, bribery, corruption).
Behind a simple ivory trinket on sale in Shanghai or Hong Kong a person is getting killed in Africa, a wife loses her husband, a child becomes an orphan or a soldier. Ivory consumers and traders should be held directly responsible for these murders and social distruction, as well as all those who facilitate the trade.
By trading and buying ivory they become de-facto responsible for those deaths. They should be considered guilty to Accessory to Manslaughter.
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