A couple weeks ago I wrote about how Craigslist has become one of the main sources of human and sex trafficking and how Chicago Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart sued Craigslist. Part of the reason for traffickers to use Craigslist is because of its communicative ease and the site’s lack of oversight. Unfortunately, human trafficking is still on the rise in the U.S., to the point where Florida has become one of the nation’s largest states for receiving human slaves(Source 1). According to the United Nations Drugs and Crimes (UNDC), human trafficking is also one of the fastest growing criminal activity in the world, with 80% being sexual slavery in nature .
Fortunately, there are people like Sally Senitz and her husband Lowell, who are working with the FBI to spread awareness of human slavery in the U.S. And they aren’t alone. Highman High School students joined forces with the Not for Sale Campaign to combat human trafficking by raising money and awareness in the form of a fair (Source 2). As cliche as it may sound, it truly reminds me of the phrase, “Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.” You too can join the fight by calling (239)340-2980.
Just researching about human trafficking certainly breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because today, in 2009, slavery still exists and is growing. People are taking advantage of other people. But you and I are perhaps lucky, lucky to be alive and to live a life of privilege, even if we may feel like we aren’t privileged. We have a voice. We need to be a voice for those that cannot speak because of their oppression!
This week, Metro Police detectives and FBI agents got a break! They arrested 45-year-old Teresa Ann West, 20-year-old Casey West (her son) and 22-year-old Diana West (her daugher). The mother-children team ran a prostitution ring that used underage teens (16-year-olds) as prostitutes (Source 3). What kind of mother would allow this, not to mention participating and facilitating this?
As of today, the End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT International) working with a pro-enviromental company Body Shop, have release a report to bring awareness against underage sex trafficking. They have worked with international police organizations to outline three main goals this year (Source 4):
- Community-based prevention programmes to stop child trafficking reaching at-risk populations.
- International legal standards for protecting children from trafficking incorporated into the national legal framework.
- Specialised government services for child victims of trafficking integrated into national policies.
You may ask yourself what you could do. You could write to your congress person, get involved and get other people involved in organizations like ECPAT, etc.
Currently, my friends and I are part of a group called Freedom and Fashion. We will be holding a fashion show to bring awareness of the slavery that still exists not only in America, but around the world. We will also be featuring designers who donate to social justice causes or part of a fair rade market. It will be held at UCLA on November 19th, 2009.