Monday, 10 January 2011
Tomorrow, the 11th of January is Human Trafficking Awareness day. I have decided to have an entire week devoted to books concerning this topic (and similar areas).
I was first aware of human trafficking when I was around 12 years old. I started reading Anne McCaffrey's Acorna series. I truly loved Acorna, how she could heal people and how crazy people were after her. I loved how she saved a lot of children from slavery (mostly for working in mines, or workshops, but also some young girls were taken for adult relations). I was horrified at what happened to the children before they were saved. I know I cried as I realised that although Acorna's story is set in space in the distant future, this was happening in the world.
After helping out with Aids Awareness Day and National Non-Fiction Day, I thought that I should help support the cause I'm most interested in.
My understanding of human trafficking is buy and selling people for services. This can be for slavery, such as farming, factory work (making clothes in sweat shops), or other jobs. My main interest is in trafficking where people are sold for non-consenting adult relations. To me this is almost the worst crime on earth ever. Children are forced to grow up too fast. They lose their freedom, their dignity, and hope. Some are under 5 years old.
Please don't make the mistake I did by investigating this on You Tube right before bed. I couldn't sleep for a long time. There are hundreds of organisations out there on the web who explain all the details of human trafficking, and how it affects every single country in the world. Apart from possibly the Arctic and Antartic because not very many people live there. But wherever there are people, there are a few sick and twisted individuals who have it in their heads that humans (especially children) are objects. They can be bought or sold for any price. Sometimes to the highest bidder. Sometimes to just anyone.
We may not have Acorna, but there is hope for some of the children out there. There are countless organisations which try and shut down seedy establishments, as well as the gangs who find the children. The one organisation which I keep an eye on is Transitions Global. It started with an ordinary American family learning about human trafficking, and then they set off to Cambodia to help save girls. What makes them unique is that they don't just save the girls, they give them a home to live in until they can manage on their own two feet. They are given the opportunity to an education, to prepare for any career they wish for. They give the girls counselling, they give them opportunities where they can actually laugh and feel like a child again. Their innocence may have been not, but they can regain their lives with a lot of help and support.
Here are a few questions the Transitions Global team kindly answered for this post.
It is very easy to help support Transitions Global - follower them on Twitter and on Facebook. Even by doing that small thing you are helping raise awareness about human trafficking, and a wonderful cause who help support some of the girls involved.
I'd like to thank everyone who has donated books for this event - at one point I was in despair of finding any other than Acorna! I'll be reviewing the entire Acorna series, including the one about her children (I'm actually writing this post on Dec 23rd. I haven't read them all yet, so I'm guessing that Acorna's children continue their mother's good work).