Human Trafficking: Modern Slavery
By: Supna Kapoor & Arjan Warya
On Thursday, December 1st, four students from Mitty’s own Advocacy Project piled into a van and headed over to the San Jose Convention Center to meet with youth ministers from around the United States. The reason for this gathering: a conference of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry for Human Trafficking. The conference was led by Sister Marilyn Wilson of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and consisted of individuals from Archbishop Mitty, Notre Dame, and Bellarmine educating the incredibly diverse group of youth ministers about what Human Trafficking is, how they can educate the youths in their parishes, and the small things they can do to help this seemingly insurmountable issue.
One of the main points covered by MAP at the conference was how people can utilize modern technology and social media to help prevent and spread awareness on Human Trafficking. The conference was introduced to a list of apps, each one possessing its own unique feature that combats “Modern Slavery”. One such app was TraffickCam, which promotes users to take pictures of their hotel rooms while traveling; these photos then get saved by TraffickCam to a database that the police can access when trying to identify the locations of trafficking victims who have been spotted in online ads (most commonly photographed in hotel rooms).
Along with addressing how the social media platform can be translated into the fight against trafficking, MAP also advocated for the passing of a series of bills that would help to advance the legal front against this hot-button issue. These bills protected the rights of rescued victims to refrain from testifying in court and increased legal punishment for those deemed guilty of taking part of the trafficking of a human being.
One of the last, and possibly most relevant issues addressed at the conference was the burning question of what we can do to help. Human Trafficking is an incredibly complex and broad issue that cannot be overcome by one person alone; yet if we all do the best we can, we might just be able to make a difference. Contrary to popular opinion, Human Trafficking is not just limited to third world countries and is in fact very active in the United States. With that being said, one of the most influential (and honestly, fairly simple) things a person can do would be to support all suspicious behavior to a Human Trafficking Hotline. Even though this may seem incredibly trivial on the grand scope of work that needs to be done to end Modern Slavery for good, one phone call could easily save a person’s life.
Next article: MAP student Da-Sol Kim outlines solutions for what you can do to make a difference regarding Human Trafficking