I got home today and did what I always do. I kissed my husband, poured a large glass of wine and headed for my spot on the couch. Then I logged in to Facebook and saw multiple versions of this message:
Now, since I don’t live under a rock and I am not mentally challenged (don’t laugh, I have medically attested proof), I was aware that sex trafficking, and indeed many forms of slavery, still exist, both in the U.S. and abroad. And I knew the number of people trapped in slavery was likely to be sizeable, given human kind’s seemingly endless capacity for greed and corruption.
But 27 million?
The majority of countries currently existing on this Earth do not have populations that big. (This is literally true. I looked it up.) Worse yet, half of that 27 million are children. 80% percent are women and girls. An unconscionable number of those exploited are sold like cattle here, in the U.S., home of the free. The irony does not escape me.
I don’t know if campaigns like this one are effective. But I don’t think raising awareness is enough and they are trying to do much more than simply spread the knowledge that slavery is a real thing, happening now, likely in a place closer than you might think. There are a number of other organizations striving toward the same goal, and I’m not advocating for any particular one.
I’m not even going to take the time to argue the undeniable evil of this horrendous practice. To any person with a shred of compassion and decency, to anyone with even the tiniest ethical compass, the immorality of human trafficking has to be a given.
I’m just sitting here, wondering – why, in the name of any god one might choose to pray to, or at least in the name of humanity itself, are we allowing this to continue? Perhaps a better question is, how do we make it stop?