GLI sophomores get a "Global Eye" on trafficking

Fiachra Kearney has been working for the last 15 years against the devaluation of human and animal life. His research in dissecting major socio-economic problems, along with his military and paramilitary training, has aided him the creation of an NGO called Global Eye. He created Global Eye in 2013 to tackle the issue of human and wildlife trafficking happening globally.

Kearny, as a native Australian, finds the trafficking of wildlife to be a personal issue.

“I saw animals trafficked out of Australia and, quite frankly, it pissed me off.” Kearny said.

Sophomore GLI students huddled around Kearney as he went into depth about these issues during his Models of Leadership session. The Models of Leadership seminars allow for students to sit down in a personal setting with world leaders. Students asked questions about trafficking, the building of NGOs, and leadership in action.

Kearney said that it took 5 years and three tries to build Global Eye.

“The first time we had the wrong mechanics and the second try we had the wrong people, but the third time’s the charm.” Kearney said.

Global Eye works extensively in Africa and Asia creating networks and gathering information. When they gather information they direct advocacy for reform in those regions and often relay information on to Interpol.

The organization focuses on the motivation for trafficking, as well as the various methods that are used to accomplish it. They then work on building mechanisms to block these operations, provided that they are subject to the law. More often than not however, the law isn’t effective. In areas with strong communities, the law is lenient on certain individuals with good connections. Also, people with few economic opportunities often rely on this illegal trade to provide for their families.

Revamped laws shed some hope for stifling some trafficking in Africa but Kearney believes there is a lot more to be done.

The Models of Leadership seminars throughout sophomore year give GLI students the opportunity to learn from world leaders like Kearney, and to better understand the global issues to which these leaders dedicate their lives.