Did you know that January is designated as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month?
As hundreds of thousands of women recently gathered to march for women’s rights across the country, I felt compelled to write this blog post to help us remember those who don’t have the freedom to proclaim their voice - the millions enslaved in human trafficking throughout the world.
Human trafficking is an often forgotten or simply avoided topic in most of our daily lives, but it’s a devastating trade that impacts 20 to 30 million people globally. It’s the third largest international crime industry, and reportedly generates a profit of 32 billion dollars every year. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. And between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. However, the harsh reality is that children as young as 3 years old have been reported as trafficking victims.
As a mother to two young children, these statistics break my heart. But it’s important to remember that these are so much more than just statistics. These numbers represent people - mothers, daughters, sons, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends, who have been robbed of their freedom. It is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time!
To give you a little perspective on what takes place in our country and around the world, I encourage you to watch the following documentary produced by Exodus Cry, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking.
I will admit, this film was difficult to view. My husband and I watched in complete bewilderment, and we were brought to tears as story after story unfolded about how lives were radically impacted due to this horrific trade. It is too important not to share and while it is a tough pill to swallow, it should not deter you from watching. In fact, it will probably move you so much that you’ll want to help elevate awareness about this issue.
I encourage each of you to not turn a blind eye to this destructive trade! Theodore Roosevelt once stated, “in any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”.
If you feel the urge to act, you might be asking yourself, “what can I do?”. Check out the link below that outlines 15 steps you can take to help the fight.
Help spread awareness, and become a voice for those who are voiceless!
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