42,000 Adults and Children Rescued From Slavery

Modern day slavery is still an issue pressing all over the world!

Over 42,000 adults and children kept as slaves, forced into prostitution or human trafficking were discovered by authorities around the world in 2011, according to a recent report by the U.S. State Department.  Sadly, this number is only a fraction of the estimated number of people held in bondage.  The International Labor Organization estimated that there are approximately 20.9 million victims of modern-day slavery.  Foreign governments must comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 by supplying information about trafficking investigations and prosecutions to the State Department in order to be considered by the U.S. as working on eliminating slavery.

The report details the trafficking problem in countries all over the world!  It also included a victim’s account, “I walk around and carry the physical scars of the torture you put me through. The cigarette burns, the knife carvings, the piercings … how a human being can see humor in the torture, manipulation, and brainwashing of another human being is beyond comprehension. You have given me a life sentence,” quotes a victim of sex trafficking to her trafficker at her sentencing.

Another trafficking survivor, named “Tonya”, spoke how she has “always felt like a criminal.”  ““I never felt like a victim at all. Victims don’t do time in jail, they work on the healing process. I was a criminal because I spent time in jail,” she said.

Ken Burkart, a U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent, claims that he would treat a victim of sex trafficking “as his own daughter.”  He says, ” I told my agents we’re going to treat this little girl like she was our own daughter. We’re going to hunt this little girl down and get her out of this trailer.”

He added, that after she was found, “I told her we’d been in touch with her sister and I shook her hand and I just gently led her right out the door.”

The picture below shows an estimate of persons in forced labor in different parts of the world.

The offense of trafficking involves “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”

This happens when victims have been forced into prostitution, but the victims do not have to be physically moved from one location to another.

After all is said and done, this issue lingers in our society.  However, it’s most often pushed away to led way for other issues like gay marriage.  Although, this might start an uproar, I think we have a more pressing issue to tend to than stopping two men kissing at the alter.

There are human beings that are being seriously hurt over in these other countries.  Their pride, their strength, their self-esteem: Gone.  And if I had to choose what made headlines: gay marriage or human trafficking, I would definitely choose… human trafficking.

Join the movement.

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Dr. O

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