One of the characters in Choir of Cloistered Canaries was a victim of human trafficking and slavery, a minor subplot. However, the novel lays out how a victim can understand early on the signs of how the perpetrator sets out to victimize someone. During this period of early captivity, hopefully, the victim can escape. However, all too often, the taking is all too sudden.
In the novel, the victim was rescued via an international sting by collaborating law enforcement. She was young and smart enough to make something of herself. Not all “modern slaves” are that lucky.
There is a non-profit organization, The Freedom Project, that seeks to raise awareness to how freedom is stolen and that defines freedom as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.” In raising awareness, the organization states on their web site (thefreedomproject.org) the following:
Human trafficking & slavery is probably the biggest injustice issue in today’s world. It affects over 45 million people globally in over 167 countries. It is a global system of inequality and hidden truths of which no one is blameless. We all have a role and responsibility to bring this issue out of darkness into the light. To bring freedom, hope and a brighter future to victims and vulnerable communities. Will you join us in this fight for what’s right – in the fight for freedom?
Did you know that, under the Obama Administration, January was designated as “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month”? To learn more about this initiative, visit republicaworld.com. President Biden issued in December 2021 a proclamation to raise awareness of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. According to 2021 Federal statistics, the highest rate of human trafficking per capita in the United States are California, Florida, and Texas. But such activities are happening elsewhere in the United States; for example, convictions have occurred in Ohio and Georgia in recent times. As for Florida, three men were convicted for child enticement and human trafficking crimes in April 2022.
According to UN Office of Drugs and Crime, the crime of human trafficking consists of three core elements: The act, the means, the purpose. Physical and sexual abuse, blackmail, emotional manipulation, and the removal of official documents are used by traffickers to control their victims. Exploitation can take place in a victim’s home country, during the migration or in a foreign country. Some are lured with the promise of becoming models. In many cases, victims are forced to work in factories, on construction sites or in the agricultural sector without pay or with an inadequate salary, living in fear of violence and often in inhumane conditions.
The organized networks or individuals behind these lucrative crimes take advantage of people who are vulnerable, desperate or simply seeking a better life,” notes UNODC. Among those trafficked, women or teenage girls is one of the most vulnerable groups which are forced into prostitution and other sex-related activities.
Please become aware and get involved to end this blight on human beings by human beings. To adopt The Freedom Project motto, “end slavery one life at a time.”