Students seek to stop human trafficking

By Erica Motter
Assistant Editor

April 4, 2013

Think slavery is a thing of the past?

Think again.

Human trafficking takes away the freedom of millions of people worldwide, reducing them to slaves and stripping them of their human rights.

This Tuesday, Lock Haven students will join the fight against it.

On April 9, the New Life ministry, in cooperation with Students Against Sweatshops, will hold a “Shine a Light on Slavery” event to raise awareness about human trafficking, which will take place on Russell Lawn at 7 p.m.

The event is part of nationwide awareness campaign sponsored by the End It Movement. On April 9, activists throughout the U.S. will participate in similar events.

Here on campus, the group will hold a candlelight vigil, and professor Tara Mitchell plans to speak. There will also be “x marks the spot” wristbands and lanyards on sale to benefit the movement.

Aaron Jackson, a senior majoring in fitness and member of New Life, is promoting the event and inviting students to attend.

“I want students to know that every voice matters. You are the light of the world that can make a difference and end slavery!” Jackson said.

“Slavery” is referring to any individuals victimized by human trafficking, which includes sex trafficking, child laborers and factory laborers working in subhuman conditions.

According to the End It Movement’s website, there are currently 27 million people living in slavery worldwide, with 200,000 of them in the U.S.

“There are more slaves now than ever before,” said Jackson. “College students seem to be ignorant of the truth . . . some people refuse to believe it.”

Human trafficking is closer to home than you might think–western Pennsylvania, as a matter of fact.

Recently, news has come to light about a case of a 15-year-old girl in Pittsburgh being used for sex trafficking. It is unknown how many cases of human trafficking occur every day and go unreported.

The End It Movement hopes to spread awareness of their events, and help stop human trafficking in all its forms.

If you are interested in getting involved with the cause, you can visit enditmovement.com to learn about human trafficking, donate to the cause, or find out about other ways to spread awareness.

LHU’s Facebook event page is titled “End It: Shine a Light on Slavery.”

Jackson is optimistic about this event and the fight against slavery in general.

“We can all make a difference. It’s not about race or color. It’s about trying to make the world a better place for all mankind,” he said.

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