Last week, I finished a piece for Human Events that explores human trafficking and its horrific impact on the lives of individuals and communities across the globe (I'll share it with you once it's published). As a journalist, I must admit that I am fairly new to understanding this social ill. While I've always been aware of the problem as it occurs internationally, I am just learning of the dangers that the sex and forced-labor trade causes here in the United States. The fact that American girls are regularly being abducted and forced into slavery is both hard to fathom and perplexing.
In recent weeks, I've become increasingly interested in learning about how I can be a positive catalyst for change. My Human Events piece is the first step in terms of "doing something." The second? I will be attending an amazing event that Elisha Krauss is working hard to put together on Sept. 16th here in NYC! I would highly encourage everyone to purchase a ticket (or tickets) to support the excellent work "Stop Child Trafficking Now" is doing to combat human trafficking.
Perhaps the most compelling argument for why we should all be engaged with preventing and stopping trafficking is captured in a recent Contra Costa Times piece. Journalist Tracy Manzer writes,
According to the U.S. Department of State, approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide. They are forced into either sex or labor trafficking and more than half are children.
But not all the victims come from outside the U.S. or are poor and neglected.
"Our experience is human trafficking crosses all color lines and it crosses all socio-economic lines," said Long Beach Police Department Missing Persons Detective Kenneth Turner.
This is a problem that impacts us all. I plan to write much more on this subject. In the interim, why not explore what you can do to make change? A good start would be donating to "Stop Child Trafficking Now" or, if you're in the NYC area -- or know someone who is -- purchasing tickets to the Sept. 16 event. Let's work together to make our nation -- and world -- a better place.