It’s here, it’s real, and it will only get worse if we don’t start fighting!
I had several interesting conversations today about this horror that plagues our world…our nation…even our own neighborhoods.
It even showed up in a TV episode that I was watching while trying to write this post.
Human trafficking is everywhere and we can NOT ignore it any longer! It’s not just something that happens in other countries, or in big cities. People are pressed into slavery in, and trafficked through, the most innocent looking places.
“”Because of Interstate 5 going through [Whatcom] county between Vancouver B.C. and then Seattle and Portland, we are a corridor for trafficking that we don’t necessarily see or hear about, but it’s traveling right through us,” Sue Ann Heutink”"
“Every year, over 100,000 American children are trafficked for sex: stalked by pimps in their schools and neighborhoods,brutally exploited in a $9.8 billion a year industry. Children. Their average age is 13. They are lured away with promises, and coerced with threats. They are starved, drugged, imprisoned, beaten, tortured, gang raped. They are sold—filmed and photographed; rented by the hour for sex; sometimes killed. And it’s happening in the Pacific Northwest.” (Read more here.)
What is human trafficking?
From the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website: “Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
How is it possible that this is happening right under our noses? How can we be so blind to the plight of those around us?
What can we do to put an end to human trafficking? We need to spread the word and tell people the facts.
Educate yourself. Do a search. Read the data. Learn what you can and share the information you find!
Here are a couple of great documentaries that I highly recommend watching.
Nefarious: Merchant of Souls
Get involved. Find out what others are doing in your area. I’m running a 5K in May to raise money and awareness in the fight to end this injustice.
There are organizations and groups out there that need our help.We all have to fight before any kind of major change will take place.
Here are a few links to help you get started in your search:
Shared Hope International
Let’s stop being naive and take a real look at what we can do to put an end to human trafficking. It’s up to us.
(Pictured statistics taken from Abolition International)