Many may think of slavery as just a dark spot in human history, an atrocity existing solely in the past. The reality is, however, that there are more slaves in the world today than ever before. It’s a startling and tragic truth; an injustice that cuts to one’s very core. Human trafficking, the trade of humans as possessions to be controlled or exploited, can best be described as a form of modern day slavery.
The numbers are staggering, with an estimated 27 million people living in bondage all over the globe. It’s the world’s fastest growing criminal industry and, sadly, only one to two percent of victims are ever rescued. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the problem, but thankfully there are many people who are living with the hope that a difference can be made and slavery can be abolished.
Currently, I work with The A21 Campaign, an organization that exists to abolish injustice in the 21st century. Through prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships, A21 aims to raise awareness, build shelters and transition homes for victims rescued out of slavery and strengthen the legal response to human trafficking. One of the most valuable things that I am learning from A21 is that though the problem of human trafficking may seem overwhelming, there is reason to rejoice when even just one person finds freedom. Though it might only be one person, that one was certainly worth fighting for.
…though the problem of human trafficking may seem overwhelming, there is reason to rejoice when even just one person finds freedom.
I have also learned how impactful a committed group of passionate people can be. It’s so easy to feel as though the issue of human trafficking is much too big to solve. It truly is a tremendous problem, but there is so much power in action — in doing something no matter how small that action may seem.
If human trafficking is an issue that moves you, then use your skills, your creativity and your passions to help end it. The A21 Campaign offers many opportunities to get involved, and there may be many other organizations operating out of your specific area. Do research. Educate yourself and use your voice. Volunteer. Raise awareness by doing whatever it is that you do best. If you are a runner, run a marathon for the cause. If you are an artist, create pieces that will ignite a conversation. If you are a fabulous hostess, throw a fundraising dinner. The possibilities are truly endless, and as trite as it may sound, you really can make a difference. No one is equipped to tackle the problem alone, so let’s do it together as a global community.
Do you know of any organizations helping to end human trafficking? Share in the comments below.
Image via Marlena Pearl Photography