/Modern slavery, don’t sell it short

Modern slavery, don’t sell it short

Modern-day abolitionists continue the campaign to end slavery right here at SC4.

SC4’s Global Awareness Taskforce and the International Cultural Education (ICE) committee sponsored the fourteenth annual Global Awareness Day Nov. 16, 2010.

Paul Schmitt, chairperson of ICE explained, “Human trafficking dates back thousands of years to ancient times, and existed in all cultures.” Human trafficking still exists today and Schmitt hopes to enlighten students at SC4 about the threat.

Sierra Sullivan, an education major from SC4, spoke of modern human trafficking, exposing Craigslist as a common source exploited by human traffickers.

Recently, Sullivan showed, some cases caused the government to make Craigslist monitor ads regarding adult services. According to the state attorney general’s office, an informant alerted them to reoccurring instances of prostitution involving children and women, forced into the sex trade against their will.

Sullivan shared recent cases in Michigan involving children sold by their parents to human traffickers, who then sell those children as sex slaves.

Sullivan explained that the recent exposure of modern human trafficking has perplexed law-enforcement officers, who often do not know where to begin fighting it.

Human trafficking victims do not often identify themselves as such, explained Sullivan. Arrested and put into juvenile detention, they do not show signs of the children they were before being forced into slavery.

Sullivan further explained that dating sites, advertising websites and social networking sites are breeding grounds for human trafficking victimization. Traffickers gain the trust of the naïve, then use that trust against them.

Speaker Marty Van Doren, human trafficking coordinator for Ontario division, explains shopping malls expose other easy targets to the dangers of human trafficking.

“Most people are trafficked by someone they know,” Van Doren explained. He further explained the victimization process including promising foreign or poor women and children better lives. Once they gain trust, the traffickers then force them to pay their way through hard labor or prostitution.

Van Doren further stated it is hard to tell the number of women and children forced into the sex trade, due to the embarrassment the felt from the victims. It is unknown how many victims stay silent.

Rachael Krafft

Staff writer