Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

As I sit and look at my calendar, I cannot believe that January is almost over. For me, this month has been particularly special and important. So far this month has included many milestone events such as: watching the presidential inauguration with my family, ordering my cap and gown, developing my final independent study topic, and attending some amazing UNC basketball games.  While January has been very eventful, the most important aspect of this month for me and advocates everywhere is human trafficking awareness. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

In North Carolina, Governor Perdue has issued a proclamation declaring January, “Human Trafficking Awareness Month.” Nationally, President Obama has declared the month, “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.” While January is almost over, it is not too late to learn more about human trafficking or educate others. From dorm room conversations to coffee shop meetings, there are many opportunities to spread the word. Moreover, as we learn more about human trafficking every day, education and awareness can occur yearlong.  

According to the Global Freedom Center, the current estimates of human trafficking globally range from 20.9 to 27 million.  What can you do to spread word about modern day slavery? You can educate your friends, informing them about the current statistics and numbers of people involved in modern day slavery. Non-governmental organizations such as the Global Freedom Center, Polaris Project, International Justice Mission, Not for Sale Campaign, and Free the Slaves have outreach materials and resources that include great information and tools for students, churches, groups, and individuals. You can also invite your friends to measure their slavery footprint. The team at Slavery Footprint provides an innovative and useful tool developed by the director of Call + Response, a documentary about human trafficking, and the U.S. State Department. The tool shows how many slaves impact your life, considering things like the technology you use and the clothes you wear. How many slaves are working for you?

January is almost over, but it is not too late to raise awareness about human trafficking. Let’s continue to spread the word.

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