Human Trafficking

While legal slavery in America ended with the Civil War, human trafficking still exists today.  It’s as much a travesty now as it was then.

Estimates range from 12 million to as many as over 40 million people who are enslaved around the world, with about 60,000 (as of 2013) slaves here in the US.  (opinion column)

Regardless of the number, there are too many.  America should be a land of freedom, and of opportunity.

So where do these slaves exist?  The sex industry has more than its share of victims.  Young women & girls, lured by promises of jobs in America, are brought in and forced to work in massage parlors or strip clubs.  Other victims have family members or ‘friends’ who start them on this dark path. (and here)

Many are also in food service, whether restaurants, bars or picking crops in the fields.  Men & women have paid thousands to traffickers, coyotes from Mexico, ‘snakeheads’ from China and other lowlifes who then threaten the families of their victims back home, or threaten to turn them over to authorities.  They work long hours, and pay most of their income for food, housing and other ‘fees’.  Their freedom is years down the road, if it ever comes.

An organization called Polaris Project has listed 25 different types of slavery today, ranging from pornography & prostitution to domestic work (housekeeping), traveling sales crews, restaurant, agriculture and health & beauty services to name just a few.

I hope this is an area we can work across the aisle on.  Slavery is an ancient institution, and it’s time that it ends.  We need to shut down human trafficking organizations.  We need to make sure that anyone doing business with the US government, and our state/local governments aren’t enslaving people, and we need to make sure all businesses are employing people voluntarily, not under coercion.

 

 

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