My heart was demolished when I read the news of the 20,000 women found in Mali by Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency, many of who were sold as sex slaves. These women were tricked into believing there was a better life awaiting in Mali before being forcefully sold into the sex trade. They were kept in remote, forested areas. They were monitored 24/7 by other women to keep from escaping. This is no isolated incident. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world.
How can we peacefully exist in a world where this happens? In Nigeria alone, over 2,000 girls and boys have been abducted by Boko Haram since the 2014 ‘Break Back Our Girls’ campaign launched against him. That’s roughly 500 girls and boys per year. Most are sold into sex slavery, while others are trained as child soldiers and fighters, or even worse, suicide bombers. American cities like Chicago and Atlanta are hubs for international scum to prey on young men and women.
(Human trafficking is vastly underreported)
If you’re looking for evidence in your own backyard, log onto Twitter and click ‘R.Kelly’. Women and girls are being taken and extorted in Atlanta at an alarming rate, and people turned a blind eye.
The world of the sex trade is underground and rouge, tough to trace and even harder to apprehend. Every aspect of the industry is built on the utmost secrecy. The only way to dismantle an institution as such is to break it down brutally, piece by piece until there’s no root or stem. We’re talking about a 2 billion dollar industry, founded on selling people for sex.
So the question at hand remains, why aren’t we doing anything about it?
If you’re interested in knowing more about human trafficking or helping out, I compiled a few resources to check out below.
- Stopping Traffic, a film: The film is a call to action, intending to inspire the viewer to join in the movement to seek an end to human trafficking, helping to break the isolation of millions of voiceless victims. We are particularly reaching out to young people, hoping to enlist the next generation of activists. This film is available January 9th. Learn more here: http://stoppingtrafficfilm.com/
- The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national anti-trafficking hotline serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States. The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year in more than 200 languages. Learn more: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/
- The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice. Learn more: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking
- NAPTIP, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Person, is the federal government of Nigeria’s response to addressing the scourge of trafficking in persons. Learn more: https://www.naptip.gov.ng/