Human trafficking & sexual slavery is not trendy!
Human Trafficking and sexual exploitation is not solved with trendy hashtags and flashy social media campaigns, with cool well meaning celebrities tweeting only to forget about the people living this harsh reality when the next best thing comes along.
This topic needs a real conversation and education, not trendy hashtags and people feeling like they have now done their part and are somewhat now “involved” by simply liking a Facebook page or using a hashtag. How does this make affective change to the young women and children who really matter? Yes it may create awareness but is there where it ends? In most cases sadly the answer is yes.
I have experienced this many times when people like our Facebook posts about donating as little as $5 to help save someone living in slavery. People are happy to click the like button, but not happy to click the donate button! That will actually go a long way to changing the lives of others. What is the point in liking the post if you’re not willing to put action behind your statement? It is not a cute picture of a puppy (which gets more attention) it is a statement or cause that needs support and action.
My opinion may sound harsh, but so is the reality of young women and children living in the reality of sexual slavery and no one helping them out of life threatening situations.
Why do we as humans gravitate to the cause in which is currently fashionable? Why do we forget so quickly those affected by such atrocities? Is it because it is not currently “trendy” in the media, therefore not prominently in our face? Or have we become desensitized by Hollywood Blockbusters?
Human Trafficking and sexual slavery is a serious issue and affects over 27 million individuals who live in fear and the threat of death each day. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery.
Connecting Hands, a charity that gives its heart and soul to supporting young women and children who have been affected by Human Trafficking and sexual slavery is struggling to cover our project expenses due to the fact that people seem to think that everyone else is doing something, everyone else is donating or doing “something”. The harsh reality is that most people are not! We are very appreciative to the small handful of people that do support us, we feel very blessed to have their support.
We are struggling to survive as a small charity that gives everything we have to supporting young women and children who have with our help escaped lives of slavery. We don’t receive government funding or corporate donations, and have to operate our Cambodian projects on the smell of an oil rag. Each month we struggle to cover our expenses but we battle on because we believe in what we do, and can see the amazing life changing difference the support we provide is giving to young women and their children.
Human trafficking not only involves sex and labour, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting. Human traffickers are increasingly trafficking pregnant women for their newborns. Babies are sold on the black market, where the profit is divided between the traffickers, doctors, lawyers, border officials, and others.
Surely it is about time that we put the issue of Human Trafficking and Slavery back on the map. Surely it is time that organisations that are making a real difference and are transparent about their work get a break. We don’t ask for much, we just ask that you consider what matters to you. If your daughter, granddaughter, mother, sister or niece or friend was sold into sexual slavery, would you call it cultural? Would you ignore it and assume someone else was doing something about it? Would you be happy with someone just using a trendy hashtag and thinking their job was done?
Unfortunately we can’t make affective change in the world without help, a large part of the help we need is finances to be able to support our projects such as our training cafe that costs us $60,000 per year. We don’t profit at all from the training cafe, all proceeds go back into running the program and supporting other programs such as reuniting mothers and children and providing education that can eliminate the risk of human trafficking.
To everyone that cares and supports the work we do, a massive big thank you! To those who have donated, held an event for us, given us encouragement and support, a very big thank you! We appreciate each individual who gives us support; you are not forgotten and deeply appreciated.
By Kate Hutchinson