Monday, January 30, 2012

It has everything to do with us


When my husband mentioned Human Trafficking Awareness Day to a colleague, she furrowed her brow, raised a skeptical brow. "Well, I've never heard of that."
Exactly the point of having an awareness day, don't you think?


We can't go a mile without seeing a pink ribbon. We're aware as we've ever been about breast cancer. We can add a dollar to a department store purchase to fund diabetes research and education. We can join a campaign to prevent childhood obesity. And if we're really feeling politically active, we can rally together in a walk or run or march for life or for choice. 

But when we talk about the innocent, vulnerable babies already born, the children who face not the risk of obesity and high blood sugar, but a life of captivity and serial rape, we get blank stares. We get "Come on, how bad can it really be?" And, "It's a problem overseas, but that has nothing to do with us."

No, my friends. It has everything to do with us.

I used to roll my eyes when non-profit organizations would include "raising awareness" as part of their primary mission. It seemed like a fancy way to justify the existence of one more marketing person on payroll without really getting anything done. But I'm starting to see how difficult progress is in the absence of awareness. No one cares about fixing a problem they don't know exists.

So let's keep talking about it. Let's keep reading about it, sharing about it, looking it in the face, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.

This Huffington Post article by Corban Addison is a good place to start:
Reality check: There are more slaves in the world today than were taken from Africa in the four centuries of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade--over 27 million. Of those, two million are children exploited in the commercial sex trade.
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If you wish to give directly to the fight against child sex slavery and exploitation, we've set up a donation site with Love146. Over the next two weeks, your donation, no matter how small or large, will also earn you an entry to win a Run for their Lives long-sleeved tech tee!

Thank you again for your continued efforts to spread the word about the issue of modern day slavery and our efforts to abolish it.

2 comments:

  1. That quote is terrifying. Love what your'e doing. Made a donation, wish I could run too!

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  2. Thank you so much for your efforts to help combat this problem! And in case you hear another person say "It's overseas, it's got nothing to do with us," you can say: it's not JUST overseas. This happens to 50,000 women & children a year in the U.S. alone. (Not that being American *should* make a person more or less worthy of basic human rights or protection...) AND it's American and British, other European, and Australian men who are coming to Thailand (and other parts of the world) and fueling the sex trade. Go to the red light districts in Bangkok and you don't just see skeezy old men. You see fathers and grandfathers, businessmen straight from the office, FAMILIES bringing their kids like it's Disneyland.

    And that's just the sex trade. People are trafficked for labor and organs, among other things too, their labor creating many of the products we buy. Just because we might be unaware does not mean we haven't touched it or benefited from it.

    Ok. I'm getting off my soapbox now. It really is hard to get me to stop once I start! :)

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