I’ve been mulling over the different ideas I’ve had on what my first article would be for the last 6 months; I had ideas like doing a mini biography or maybe something like a shoutout to my new favourite barista at a local coffee shop.
Instead, I thought I’d be a little bit daring and write my first article on something that truly sets my soul on fire; let’s talk for a moment about Social Injustice. More specifically human trafficking.
A few of the main reasons why human trafficking happens is to force victims into the sex trade, use them for forced labour or as child soldiers.
Statistics found by the A21 Campaign indicates that a person is trafficked every 30 seconds and that there are approximately 27 million people in bondage right this very moment. Only 1-2% of victims are rescued and the average age of human trafficking victims is 12 years old.
In the time it took me to write that paragraph, statistically speaking, 2 people have been trafficked… If that doesn’t upset your heart then I think you need to check if you still have a pulse.
There are more people enslaved today than at any other point in history.
ARE YOU OKAY WITH THIS?
What grieves my heart even more than these statistics is the lack of response from the rest of us that have the freedom that these people don’t.
Our generation is more likely to ‘raise awareness’ about our #ootd or our lunch from the new trendy cafe in the city on instagram than we are to raise awareness about something larger than ourselves.
Our generation, in my experience, loves what is comfortable and what is self-seeking but I really hate to break it to you guys; this life was never designed to be about us or our comfort.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying, if your lunch was amazing and your outfit was on fleek go ahead and post away but let’s not get so caught up with our social media following and forget about the hurting world we live in.
I get it, 27 million people is a massive amount of victims and if you’re anything like me, a 20 year old uni student that has no actual qualifications that would be deemed necessary, trying to make a difference may seem rather overwhelming or impossible. Maybe, one day we will be able to help but right now, our circumstances don’t leave us much choice.
BUT “ONE DAY” JUST ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH ANYMORE.
If you aren’t prepared to help when you have little, you won’t be prepared to help when you have much; whether that’s time, money or qualifications.
Am I proposing we all join undercover task forces to be on the front line of bringing down trafficking rings and rescuing people? No, not unless that’s what you personally want to do.
Am I proposing we become our city’s very own vigilantes? No, of course not.
What I am proposing is that we get involved in the best way we can and be the voice for those whose voices have been silenced.
Here are 3 things we can do, whether we are mi goreng-eating uni students or multimillionaire businessmen and women, to be a part of abolishing 21st century slavery:
1. DONATE WHAT YOU CAN
As a university student who lives out of home I have found an effective way to budget my income so that I am able to donate regularly and not have my bank account in the negatives. It may not be thousands but every single cent counts. Find an amount that is affordable and commit to it. Sacrificing that cup of coffee could potentially make the biggest difference in a victims life; sacrifice is never comfortable but it’s always worth it.
2. BE AWARE
Get acquainted with the facts about human trafficking, read the testimonies of survivors and keep up to date with statistics. The best way to be aware about the cause is to be aware about the lives this epidemic affects. Read blogs about it, visit A21’s website or have a read of their USA high school curriculum that aims to educate young people on the reality of human trafficking. Knowledge is powerful and ignorance isn’t bliss.
3. WALK FOR FREEDOM
The A21 Campaign hosts an annual walk for freedom all over the globe. It’s a non-violent and silent walk with participants wearing all black and an A21 shirt. The next A21 Campaign Walk For Freedom is on 15 October 2016; save the date and have a look here to find a Walk For Freedom near you. If there isn’t one in your town/city, contact A21 to find out how you can host one!