On Thursday, the Senate passed a resolution apologizing for slavery. The House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last July. The Washington Post quotes lead sponsor of the resolution, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) as saying, “You wonder why we didn’t do it 100 years ago. It is important to have a collective response to a collective injustice.”
Yes, it is important to have a collective response to a collective injustice, but what disturbs me is that the injustice of slavery is still going on today. Our leadership is acting like slavery is something we have eradicated. We haven’t! It would be great if Congress would be as concerned about modern day slavery as it is about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade that happened 200 years ago. Even in the United States, people are bought and sold to perform hard labor and sexual acts, including young children. Here are some facts people are obviously unaware of:
· Human Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery.
· There are more slaves in the world today than in any time in history!
· There are 27 Million slaves today, which is more than the number of slaves in all 400 years of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade combined.
· Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second only to the Drug Trade.
· Human Trafficking is more lucrative than the illegal arms trade.
· Each year over 2 Million women and children are sold into slavery, and within the U.S. over 300,000 annually.
· One victim is trafficked across international borders every minute.
· Human Trafficking is happening everywhere in the world, and in our own country.
· Human Trafficking is a $32 Billion industry for organized crime.
· In the D.C. Metropolitan area specifically, it is a $100 Million business each year.
· The money from this illicit industry fuels organized crime and terrorist networks worldwide.
I think we do more to correct the injustice of the past and to show our true regret by stopping human trafficking today, than we do by making simple statements of apology. I wish Congress would do more to fight human trafficking, so that 100 years from now a Senator like Harkin won’t be ashamed and regretful that we didn’t do more to stop what is going on.
If you would like to learn more about what is modern day slavery, I highly recommend the book “Stop the Traffik” by Steve Chalke and Cherie Blair, wife of the former Prime Minister of England Tony Blair. I posted about their book and my meeting with them a few months ago.
I am on the board of Innocents at Risk, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to fight the trafficking and exploitation of women and children through awareness programs aimed at educating the public of these crimes. If you would like to get involved to help fight human trafficking, I’d love for you to attend a reception and screening of the movie, “Taken” on Monday, June 29th. Please visit the Innocents at Risk website for more details, to purchase a ticket, or to make a donation to this worthy cause.
– Miss A