International Studies – Blog #4
Picture this: You’re fifteen years old, living with your mother, father, and four other siblings in an impoverished, war stricken country. Your home has dirt floors and your entire family sleeps in the same room. Your parents work long hours, seven days a week, and are still unable to financially support the family. In an attempt to just barely get by your parents accept an offer to send you to the United States to work and send money home. When you arrive in this foreign land, however, you’re drugged and forced to perform sexual acts with up to 10 strangers a day.
Horrifying, right? Unfortunately, sex trafficking is the reality for around 27-40 million people internationally. While some are taken against their will, others are coerced and tricked into believing they’re being given a sustainable job to help provide for their families. Within the last decade or so, the recruitment of individuals as been far more accessible with the use of the internet, leaving police and officials with a nearly untraceable network to locate.
That’s where we come in. One of the easiest ways to aid in terminating this industry is raising your voice. Help shed a light on the reality and expanse of sex trafficking by gaining knowledge on the issue and sharing the hard truths with others. Additionally, organizations, like the End It Movement and International Justice Mission, are working tirelessly to rescue innocent victims, pass helpful laws, and get criminals convicted. Organizations like this provide an awesome opportunity for people to volunteer their time, resources, or money toward raising awareness and even being a part of rescue missions. With more and more legislation being passed and awareness being raised, I believe that we can start to see a decline in sex trafficking across the globe. It is no small task, especially given the scope under which perpetrators act out of, but there is forward momentum that won’t slow down until every last victim is saved. Another group working to put an end to this atrocity uses a tactic known as ‘crowdsourcing.’ Essentially, activists use the internet to spread word on a global scale when they suspect a possible trafficking incident occurring. Activists and police living in the identified location then attempt to stop the criminal from harming or kidnapping an innocent victim.
So, why should this matter to you? Well, this matters, because this could be you. This could be your sister, your child, or your girl/boyfriend. This matters because 1 in 5 victims are under 18; because 55% of victims are women and girls; because 87% of all nations are being affected. This matters because every second of every day people are being used and abused, stripped of their innocence and dignity. As individuals living in freedom, it is our privilege to speak up for those who cannot and it is our duty to act for the good of all humanity!