Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that subjects children, women and men by force, fraud or coercion into commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. It is estimated that there are 27 million people in slavery today, 5.5 million are children. While human trafficking is a worldwide problem, it is necessary to understand that this also means it is prevalent in the United States. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states. The U.S. Department of Justice states that there are between 100,000 and 150,000 sex workers enslaved in the U.S. The average starting age of a slave is 12, although many are younger.
Human Trafficking is such a pressing issue that the President of the United States established an Advisory Council on Human Trafficking of which Archbishop Demetrios of America is an appointed member.
The Philoptochos Society donated $20,000 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for the direct purpose of ending child trafficking and continue to work hard to increase awareness nationwide.
What can you do?
- We encourage you and your fellow Chapter stewards to tune in tomorrow, Friday, January 10 at 1 pm EST to hear a panel discussion, “What does 2014 hold for the fight against human trafficking” featuring UNICEF’s Susan Bissell, The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and panelists from International Justice Mission, Not For Sale, and Somaly Mam Foundation.
To tune in, click on this link: http://uncf.us/1ghu80P
- Post the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, 1-888-373-7888, in your Church and other places you frequent like the post office. Callers can report potential cases, get help, or request information and training and it is 100% confidential.
- Visit unicefusa.org/endtrafficking and notmylife.org to learn more about human trafficking and what UNICEF and other organizations are doing to protect children.
- Host a panel discussion of your own. Speakers can include local experts, a professor knowledgeable on the subject of human trafficking, a member of law enforcement, or a survivor of trafficking.
- Purchase products made by survivors of human trafficking which helps to support sustainable employment and rehabilitation programs for survivors. Start shopping. Visit http://www.polarisproject.org/take-action/fundraise/shop.
Let’s all work together to raise awareness until there are zero children, women and men who are the victims of human trafficking.