Thursday, May 02, 2013

Bay Area Slaves

On the way to Starbucks, a little radio blurb caught my attention. It was news about the problem of human trafficking in the Bay Area. At Starbucks, a little boy was rolling up the window blinds. His mom told him to stop and lightheartedly warned him that if he didn't stop, the manager will take him and make him work in the back. He was scared and took it seriously. It reminded me of undocumented workers forced to work in inhumane conditions (modern day slaves, essentially).

With my sister interning for the Modern Day Slaves Foundation, my brother's club donating proceeds of their charity concert to Not For Sale, the radio blurb, and the mom's light warning, the talk of human trafficking and modern day slavery has been circling me for a while now (there were other news, blog posts, etc that trickled in).

It's always alarming to hear how bad news is so close to home.  When I read that the San Francisco Bay Area has one of the highest rates of trafficking in California and that it's happening in the suburbs...well it hit home.

The stories of the victims of human/sex trafficking and modern day slaves are so horrible and sickening, it's easier to think that it happens somewhere else. When it's in your backyard, there are so many emotions and thoughts to deal with. There's despair for the state of our world. Worry and anxiety for our children and loved ones. Desire to move somewhere else (though that doesn't guarantee anything).

But there's also hope. I found out about the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition (BAATC) and their Freedom Summit. There are people and organizations (all over the world) trying to stop human trafficking and modern day slavery. And I realized that it's great that the issue of human trafficking keeps circling me because it means people are talking about it. Awareness is the first step. So pass on the news.

Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition
Freedom Summit
Modern Day Slaves Foundation
Not For Sale
California Against Slavery
Polaris Project - CA
End Human Trafficking

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