For the last few years, I have attempted to dedicate a post on my blog to National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The reason for this is simple. I know about the issue, and I want to insure that I am doing some small part to keep this issue on other people’s radars.
You see part of the reason modern day slavery and human trafficking not only exist but thrive is because many people don’t know or don’t care. The problem is made worse by a number of factors including demand by slave traders as well as desperation on the part of many of the poorest people on the planet. People in desperate situations do desperate things like sell themselves or their family members into slavery. And because of the fact that few people realize that slavery still exists (even in the United States), slavers and traffickers continue to do their nefarious work.
What hurts is that without exposing this problem, more and more people will continue to suffer. People forget about issues if they aren’t brought to confront them. Just this past Congressional session, the TraffickingVictims Protection Reauthorization Act (which was initially passd in 2000 and reauthorized unanimously by Congress three separate times) did not get passed. Three senators put anonymous ‘holds’ on the bill, preventing it from moving forward. In spite of this set-back, it has been largely the efforts of concerned citizens that have kept this issue in the forefront of Congressional work as something that people can agree on regardless of their partisan persuasions.
So what can you do as part of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day? Here are just a few ideas to consider.
- Support an anti-slavery or anti-trafficking organization like International Justice Mission, Not For Sale, orPolaris Project.
- Write your congressional representatives and encourage them to support the TVPRA and other anti-slavery and anti-trafficking legislation.
- Commit to learn more about the issue. There are tons of resources on the web, and if you can make time to visit, I highly recommend a trip to the Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH.
- Also, if you suspect a potential slavery or trafficking operation happening in your community, report it to the National Human Trafficking Hotline
Thanks for taking time to make your voice heard and contribute to making a difference. And may we all look forward to a day when we don’t have to worry about legislation like TVPRA getting passed because we will have pushed back the darkness together!