Every day and every second, victims of human trafficking endure pain and injustice in every part of the world.

Each minute that goes by, these victims hold onto to the hope of one day being rescued from the pain of being forced into lewd acts.

The definition of human trafficking is “the illegal practice of procuring or trading human beings for the purpose of prostitution, forced labor or other forms of exploitation.”

Not only does this form of trafficking exist across the world, but also it exists in nearly every single state in America and grows with every passing minute.

July 30 is United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This day recognizes and brings awareness to the trafficking of victims and the need to protect their rights.

We can use our voice to make a difference, to spread the word. This crime does exist and there is something each and every person can do. No matter where you live, you can help prevent, stop, or help those who endure modern-day slavery.

Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery. We can educate ourselves to be aware of and see the clues when we encounter or look into certain situations involving those who live in trafficked situations by learning ways we can report any suspicious activity we see.

In order to see what’s happening, we need to be aware of what’s happening. We can seek help when we see someone controlled by another person; when we see signs of physical abuse; when we see controlled movement; when we see substance abuse; when we see a lack of earnings; when we see a lack of trust; when we see someone foreign and unfamiliar with the language; when we see a lack of personal belongings; when we see someone who is overly fearful, depressed and has submissive behavior; when we see signs of dependence, bad health and malnutrition; when we see someone deceived by a false job offer; when we see a lack of official identification and someone with feelings of being trapped.

Online exploitation has greatly increased over the years in child trafficking and luring children into lewd acts. It’s a sick act which is destroying the lives of children growing up in society these days. It’s taking away freedoms and forcing them into slavery, through what may seem like small ways, but these small ways grow into very real and dangerous situations children face every single day.

A21, a nonprofit organization “ruled by radical hope that human beings everywhere will be rescued from bondage and completely restored” acts as the “abolitionists of the 21st century” which is represented in their name as a statement to show they “work with you to free slaves and disrupt the demand.”

In a recent A21 post on Instagram, Christine Caine said: “Sex trafficking is happening. Forced labor is happening. Child trafficking is happening. The reality is there are millions — children, women, and men — affected by modern-day slavery. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. What gives us hope is that we’ve seen awareness prevent trafficking on a massive scale over the past 12 years.”

Every person can stop and prevent the cycle of human trafficking. The time is now to step up and raise awareness about this crime and take action to help.

According to the A21 website, traffickers use a variety of methods to recruit their victims.

A survey from A21 shows many of those who have been trafficked and have been rescued were lured into trafficking by a friend at a staggering 86%. Others surveyed indicate 43.4% were lured through the use of a false job advertisement, 11.2% were sold by family, 9.6% were lured in by loverboys, 5.8% were abducted, 2.6% had been trafficked through false immigration, 13.5% were unknown and 4.1% had been trafficked in other ways.

At https://www.a21.org/, people can fundraise, donate and volunteer or call to help those who have been trafficked.

Additionally, there’s https://hopeforjustice.org/, where people can help a person who has been affected by human trafficking, through methods like writing a letter to a child who is now free to bring life to a child who could use a little bit of hope and support.

Let your voice be heard and be a difference in the life of others around you.

Tamara Gregor is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. To contact Gregor, email to tamara.gregor@duncanbanner.com or call 580-255-5354 Ext. 133.

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