CNN Freedom Project: Big Steps Toward Ending Human Slavery

CNN Freedom Project: Big Steps Toward Ending Human Slavery

Over the past few months, I have been surprised and pleased—so very, very pleased—to witness the widespread awareness about human trafficking. My own hometown high school, which is about as aware of global issues as shoe polish, recently held a fundraiser to help stop human sex trafficking, and if they are aware, then you know it’s spreading like wildfire. Human trafficking has been one of the biggest causes in my life since I became aware of it early in adulthood and all I’ve ever wanted is for everyone, everywhere to know what it is and to stand against it from happening. That just might happen, as CNN has even jumped on board the anti-human trafficking campaign.

CNN is sponsoring a new Freedom Project to End Modern Day Slavery. The website itself is highly informative and appropriate for both teens and adults to read and take action through. Change.org has contributed a very important piece entitled “5 Things You Need to Know About Human Trafficking,” which should be printed and shared everywhere. It includes crucial points, such as the fact that human trafficking means actual slavery (not “Oh, I work for slave wages!” but actual real, live kidnapping and working for nothing until you die, usually through prostitution or farming or other harsh work) and the fact that it’s a widespread, global problem that is taking place here at home, not just abroad. It’s in every state, and it has the potential to affect every person. (Remember human trafficking day #1 in America?) And as much as people want to think it’s rare, it’s actually one of the top three businesses in the world, generating billions of dollars annually with approximately 27 million slaves in the world.

Another important point made is that many of the items we buy—from food to electronics, clothing to jewelry—are made by slaves. Even sports gear and flowers are often made or picked by slaves. We need to be aware of this and refuse to take part in it if we are going to stop human trafficking.

There are other great resources on the site—from celebrity videos to fact sheets and other reports you can share with friends and family (definitely post them on your Facebook page or website), but perhaps the most important part of the site—aside from its existence and alerting people about human trafficking in the first place—is its “How You Can Help” page. After all, such a big issue seems like it’s insurmountable; it’s not. Organizations exist to free slaves and help them recover from such violence. There are places you can donate to on the site, as well as a list of 20 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking, from reporting suspicious incidences of possible trafficking to hiring trafficking survivors at your place of work.

In the Change.org piece, the writer suggested that we can end human trafficking. And we can. But it’s going to take everyone, everywhere, to make it happen. Please consider joining this campaign and raising as much noise as you can about it in your own community.