Friday, July 31, 2009

Heavy Information: Human Trafficking

Our lack of internet at our house has not allowed me to blog as often as I would have liked to. Thus, I sit in my office at The Bridge after reading more information about human trafficking. And I don't even know what to say or do or think. The injustice that takes place on a daily basis is indeed overwhelming.

I often wonder how gaining this information is helpful there is no action on my part. It has been on my heart lately to talk to whoever about trafficking. More often than not, I find out that people have no idea that there are 27 million slaves worldwide, which is more than the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade in the 1800's.

The current slave trade consists of: bonded slavery, illegal detention, organ trafficking, child labor, illegal property seizure, and the ever so sickening sex slave trade.

And I can't get away from the information. Last night, while lying in bed, I changed the station from the show I was watching (because it was a commercial and I am impatient) to Law and Order. And you want to know what the show was about? You guessed it. Human trafficking. Individuals were "adopting" Haitians and once they were brought to the US, they were treated as slaves, lived in squalor, given very little to eat and no education.

There are so many different organizations, websites, and articles about human trafficking that it can be overwhelming at times.

The one thing that I realized in all of this, is these people are taking action in ways that they can in their context.

And if you don't think that human trafficking is taking place here in Fresno, you are wrong. If a girls is 17 years old and is a prostitute, she most likely isn't there because she wants to be. She has been coerced by this individual who promises a better life. Once it is too late, she is addicted to drugs and stays on the street. Federal law defines trafficking in persons as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.” And I will tell you this much, the age of prostitutes in Fresno continues to become younger and younger. According to this news report by abc30, they are as young as 12.

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