January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings. Traffickers use force, fraud, coercion and other nefarious tools to convince the target person to join them. These ploys can sometimes last for years until the target trusts the trafficker.
A trafficker in the U.S. could spend a good bit of time promising a foreign target "a better life," with safety, good wages and honest work. Some of these scumbags have asked targets to marry them in order to get the person into their trafficking network.
Then, when the target is under the trafficker's spell, they get forced to work hard labor jobs for little or no pay or to sell their bodies. If they refuse to do "their jobs," they get threatened with violence either toward them and/or their families.
There are so many folks in all parts of the world who live in awful conditions already, and so they are already mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically beaten down, which makes them easy targets. Traffickers prey on the poor, the desperate and the young by keeping control over them.
Does this sound familiar? Yes? That's because human trafficking is SLAVERY.
Some organizations, such as A21, are working hard to end human trafficking. Their website is full of information, videos and downloadable fliers. Their stated purpose is to "Educate and equip everyone to understand, identify and reduce the risk of human trafficking through programs like educational curriculum, prevention programs, and awareness campaigns."
Please educate yourself about this horrible practice, and if you can, join the fight. It's a logical piece of the UNITY puzzle - bringing this country together by understanding "the other guy," deciding to keep an open mind and catching yourself when judgments occur in your mind. We are all human, and we were taught from a young age to look at someone and automatically identify them as black, white, left or right, for example. All we can do is be aware of those thoughts and change them. Pretty soon, it will become a habit.
Have a safe and healthy day and thank you for reading about this important topic!