People often ask me why I am passionate about the issue of human trafficking and child exploitation. For almost as long as I can remember, I have had the desire to stand up for the underdog and fight against injustice. I believe in the dignity and value of every human life, and in fighting for those who don’t have a voice.
In light of all the problems in the world today, it’s hard not to lose hope. This is why educational outlets, organizations, and non-profits dedicated to fighting human trafficking are so important. We find hope through the work that they do and the solutions they provide; from those who put their lives on the line to take down traffickers, pimps, and johns to those who offer support and healing to victims on their road to recovery.
It is my hope that with Mad Trafficking I can make a difference by shining a light not only on human trafficking but also on the good work these organizations are doing.
When people hear the words “human trafficking” they often think of a scene from the movie “Taken”: women drugged, kidnapped, and forced into prostitution. While situations like this do exist (and must be stopped), the issue is even more extensive than we would like to think.
How would your perspective change if you learned that exploitation and abuse impacted almost every facet of your life?
Victims of human trafficking can be found in high schools, their bodies sold so that their boyfriend or girlfriend can earn money or drugs. They can be in restaurants, working long hours for little to no pay under the threat of deportation. They can be seen in pornographic films or photoshoots, being forced to work under duress or under the false promise of “making it big”.
The clothes that we wear can be made by adults and children that are forced to work long hours in unsafe conditions. The produce and coffee we enjoy is often picked by migrant workers that are coerced to work long hours without receiving the pay they were promised.
When the Super Bowl arrives every year, it has the potential to become one of the single largest sex-trafficking incidents of the year in the U.S. as victims are brought in to service the influx of people.As much as we would like to think we can simply look away and move on, the truth is that it is happening right in front of us.
We should be deeply concerned about human trafficking because it intertwines with many other social justice issues. It is connected to gender and racial inequality because at its root is the belief that one human life is worth less than another. It is connected to fair pay and immigration because victims can be trapped due to lack of income, debt bondage, or the threat of deportation. It is connected to domestic violence because too often the perpetrators are spouses, parents, or family members.
As we fight human trafficking, we also fight for human dignity in all walks of life, no matter the race, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation .
Take a look around your life and you will likely begin to recognize the traces of exploitation. Do not be discouraged. Instead, let it inspire you to take a stand and end the cycle.
Please help me spread the word. Share this site with your friends and family. Together, may we be the generation that ends it.