Current Events

End It.

There is no doubt that slavery of the past has ended. But do you believe modern slavery still exists today?

For the most part, I believe many people would say “no” to this question, or that it is a problem in third-world countries, but not the United States. As a part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (January!), I am hoping to shine a light on this not so well known topic.

Here are a few staggering facts:

  • Approximately 27 million people are trapped in slavery around the world today
  • Human slavery is the world’s second largest organized global crime with revenues over $150 billion (more than Amazon, Google and Ebay combined each year!)
  • Nearly 1 in 5 victims of modern slavery is a child
  • The average age a child enters the sex trade in the United States is 12-14 years old
  • There is an estimated 60,100 people trapped in slavery in the United States

The forms of slavery today:

  • Bonded Labor: when victims are born into slavery, often forced to repay a debt from generations before them
  • Forced Labor: when victims are forced to work against their will with little or no pay
    • Found often in under-regulated industries such as agriculture, fishing, construction work, and manufacturing
  • Human Trafficking: when a victim is taken away from their home often under promises of security and a better life

Going over each of these facts fills me with an overwhelming sadness, and these are just a few. However, reading this again also fills me with a desire to do something to end it. All of the above  facts come from the End It Movement (@enditmovement), a coalition of organizations who promote freedom. If you are interested and want to learn more about modern slavery I definitely encourage you to check out this organization as a starting point!

Another great organization dedicated to fighting against modern slavery is the Polaris Project . Along with raising awareness, this organization also works directly with victims through hotlines, crisis intervention, and counseling.

If you happen to be in the Kentuckiana area, as I have also mentioned in my A Little About Me page, the Center for Women and Families (@thecenteronline) is a local organization that offers services to victims of intimate partner abuse or sexual exploitation. I strongly believe in everything this organization does and I have seen how many people they have reached firsthand. I would also urge you to support them as well!

If reading facts online is not your thing, because let’s be honest, we all would rather watch Netflix sometimes, there is actually a great documentary entitled Tricked dedicated specifically to sex trafficking in the United States. Tricked is in many ways more moving than online statistics. It provides heartbreaking, yet eyeopening stories and watching this documentary is when I first became aware of the prevalence of modern slavery. Although I can’t link the video itself (it is still on Netflix now!), there is a website about the film.

Although awareness alone is not enough to end human slavery, it is the crucial starting point. By sharing a little about human slavery it is my hope that even one person becomes touched like I was.

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” -William Wilberforce

 

 

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