Monday, January 5, 2015

"..of strength and tragedy"

"Human slavery is a robust multi-billion dollar industry...only drugs and weapon dealing are more profitable."-Dr. Noel Bridget Busch-Armendariz

         It is estimated that more than 20 million men, women and children around the world are victims of human trafficking or a form of modern-day slavery. Victims are subjected to coercion, intimidation, threats of physical violence and brutality to serve the purpose of commercial sex or forced labor. Victims are typically vulnerable young children, homeless teenagers, poverty stricken men, women and families but it can happen to any one of us. Traffickers utilize various techniques to control their victims, keeping them enslaved for months, years or an entire lifetime. Under lock and key, chained, imprisoned is how many traffickers hold victims in inescapable bondage. More frequently other less detectable techniques are used such as isolation from the public or limiting contact and constant monitoring, isolation from family, friends and community, restrictions of ethnic or religious associations, confiscation of visas, passports or identification documents. Traffickers use threats of violence toward victims or their family members, shaming, control of the victims' money or holding money, debt bondage or placing an enormous financial obligation or undefined debt on the victim forcing them to" earn" their right to freedom which many will never experience again.

       Trafficking human beings occurs around the globe, including here at home in the United States.
 "Human Trafficking Awareness Day" is dedicated to raising our perception of human trafficking and sexual slavery worldwide. The designation of  January 11th began in 2007 by the United States Senate. The United Nations has begun to highlight this disturbing topic to work tirelessly towards global awareness.
      What can you do? First be aware of the products and services you use. Do the companies use child or forced labor? Be a conscientious consumer. Check out Take steps to investigate or encourage companies to eliminate slavery and human trafficking for their supply chains and to actively inform and publish information for consumer awareness.

     United States residents call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center
 1-888-373-7888  Help is available 24/7. Connect with a service provider in your area, anonymously report information or a tip on potential human trafficking activity.

 Visit for more information.

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