Human trafficking deserves more attention

The movie “Taken” was released in theatres in 2008 and depicted the world of human trafficking through the kidnapping and selling of two American teenage girls in Europe.

However, human trafficking does not start and end in Europe. It also takes place here in the United States and is just as real as it is overseas.

According to notforsalecampaign.org People are trafficked in and out of large cities like Chicago. They are kidnapped and either sold and abused within the states, or sent overseas and women make up a majority of the 30 million people enslaved, men and children also fall victim to the sex trade.

Human trafficking is a result of men and women being brought into the business by pimps (those who run the business) feeding them lies by saying they can provide a better life for them, that they love them and will protect them. Then once the victims are drawn in, the pimps take them and sell them.

They are abused not only physically but mentally as well.

In the case of women being trafficked, pimps make their profit by letting other men sexually abuse and take advantage of the young women.

Then there are places like Haiti where the men start brothels (a branch of human trafficking that involves sexual abuse but does not sell and kidnap the women) knowing women need to make money somehow and providing a way for them to make it.

They start a business where women can come and have a room and get a share of what the men pay to have their way with them.

For those women in Haiti, as well as other countries, this form of work is the only way they can provide for their family.  It is sick that men who run brothels take advantage of that fact in order to make profit themselves.

No matter what country human trafficking and sex slavery is taking place in, one thing remains the same: it is a disgusting form of business and needs to be put to an end.

Luckily there are people in the world who are not only passionate about seeing sex slavery come to an end, but they start companies to do exactly that.

Companies like A21, Not For Sale and Love 146 are all organizations that want to end human trafficking and inform people of this form of slavery.

Being informed is one of the first steps people need to take in order to fight this social injustice. If you do not know what you are talking about or know any details of the severity of the situation how can you spread the word and take action?

Those organizations also find fun ways to raise money and more awareness of the cause.

Each organization has their own logo on t-shirts, bracelets and bags where the profit goes to help end human trafficking.  Then, most of them also put on special events.

A21, for example, holds annual Key To Freedom campaigns where they ask their followers to wear a key around their neck and if anyone approaches them and asks about the key their response is simple: tell them about the reality of human trafficking.

Not For Sale’s campaign slogan is “re-abolish slavery” and that is exactly what we must do.

“Taken” took viewers into the world of human trafficking, but there is so much more that you can learn and do to help.  Get informed, take a stand, and help free sex slaves.

Speak out for those who cannot.

Story by Haley Williamson Columnist

Williamson is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication. Comments can be sent to hwilliamson15@my.whitworth.edu.

Graphic Artist: Eli Smith

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