It was a big year to be an abolitionist. I really wish I’d been ready for it! There were milestones and celebrations and remembrances—some worldwide, some national and some just for me. Over and over, I was given opportunities to honor the work that has been done, rejoice in the part I’ve played, and prepare for the fight still ahead.
Here’s a look back:
150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
I went to a screening of Nefarious, Merchant of Soles, a couple of weeks ago. It was a documentary on human trafficking, and was probably one of the best I’ve ever seen – if you can say that about the subject matter. You can take a peek at http://www.nefariousdocumentary.com.
While there, I received a couple of pieces with stats on human trafficking. They are a bit horrifying but I thought I’d share, because ignorance isn’t bliss and knowledge is power. Consider yourself educated after reading this, and then do something.
National and International:
27 million people are enslaved around the world, which is more than the 9 million during the Trans-Atlantic Slavery period – Free the Slaves, Kevin Bales
Human trafficking (sexual, domestic, industrial and agricultural) is a 32 billion dollar per year industry, bringing in more revenue than the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB combined. – United Nations
Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry around the world. – US Department of Health and Human Services
There are nearly two million children involved in the international commercial sex trade. – UNICEF
161 countries out of 192 are involved in human trafficking. – United Nations
80% of all trafficking victims are women and children who are forced into the commercial sex trade. – US Department of State
The average age of entry into commercial sex slavery int he US is 13. – US Department of Justice
Over 17,000 people are brought into the US each year for trafficking purposes. – US Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2006
The average age of a girl entering prostitution in the US is 12 years of age. – Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors
Her life expectancy after entering is just seven years. – Shared Hope International, “Demand: A Comparative Examination of Sex Tourism and Trafficking in Jamaica, Japan, The Netherlands and the US” Sharedhope.org, July 2007
The two other most common forms of slavery in America are domestic servitude and agricultural workers. – The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales
Atlanta is a major hub for human trafficking in our country.
200-500 underage girls are raped for profit in our city each month. – Adolescent Girls in Georgia’s Sex Trade: Tracking Study Results, Atlanta, GA: The Shapiro Group 2011
7200 menu purchase underage girls for sex each month in Atlanta. 42% of these men come from the upper north side outside the perimeter, 26% from inside the perimeter, 23% from the south metro area, and 9% from the vicinity of the airport. With approximately 3 million adult men in Georgia, 23% have purchase sex with females and 20,700 do so in any given month. – Georgia Demand Study, 2009 by the Shapiro Group, Atlanta, GA
90% of the runaways wind up in prostitution. – Hidden in Plain View: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Girls in Atlanta, 2005
Not For Sale Georgia (www.facebook.com/NotForSaleGA)