Exposure of Evil Makes Way For the Good
Pro-life people unambiguously value human life from its conception in the womb to its natural death, and therefore certainly want to protect the safety and well-being of those among us who are vulnerable to trafficking and slavery. An increasing number of faith-based groups are joining the battle.
Film makers and producers such as Peggy Callahan and sociologist and humanitarian Dr. Kevin Bales, both of "FreeTheSlaves.net"; Nina Smith, executive director of "RUGMARK.org"; and other non-governmental organizations have also joined the efforts of the U.S. State Department's commitment to eradicate trafficking — including enforcing U.S. laws against traffickers, raising awareness at home, and informing people on how to recognize, identify, protect, and assist victims trafficked. Thousands of traffickers are being exposed and prosecuted everyday, worldwide.
To date of this publishing, 13 states (Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, Washington, Missouri, Florida, New York, and California) have laws criminalizing trafficking in human beings, including forced-labor state felonies, while also providing protection and victim assistance. The other 37 states are expected to follow soon. This momentum for state laws is important because the federal government does not have the resources to prosecute every trafficker.
Dr. Kevin Bales, in an interview with this journalist, stated he is starting a policy group at the Institute of Politics — to raise awareness on campuses nationwide, promote research and investigation, and publish proposals and recommendations for state and national lawmakers — in order to draw national attention to trafficking and human slavery.
"Everyone of us is benefiting from slavery around the world. We could eradicate slavery. The laws are in force. The multinational and world trade organizations, the United Nations, they could end slavery. But they are not going to do it until and unless we demand it."
At Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., a new campus organization of already 200 members — "Students Stopping Trafficking of People" [SSTOP] — is helping wage war against human trafficking and slavery by organizing fund-raisers to help support financially some of the excellent non-governmental organizations working to help victims, and also planning a student-led Conference in 2006.
Network and cable television is catching on to the awareness of human slavery. Recently, Lifetime Network broadcast a mini-series called "Human Trafficking," which attracted 5.5 million viewers in October 2005. PBS recently ran a segment within their series called "The New Heroes," hosted by actor Robert Redford, which filmed a raid and rescue of a whole village of Indian men, women, and children driven into debt bondage at a stone quarry, laboring 365 days a week, 18 hours day, just to survive. Of an estimated 27 million slaves in the world, 10 million are in India alone.
Free nations, under the leadership of the United States, have started to fight back. Laws are being enhanced and enforced better in most nations every year. In the year 2004, through efforts of national government representatives and non-governmental organizations, over 400 boys were rescued and repatriated from the Persian Gulf states' camel racing industry. In 2003, the U.S. passed acts to end the exploitation of women and children, imposing penalties of 30 years in prison for engaging in child sex trafficking. In March 2003, there were 128 U.S. investigations underway, nearly twice as many as the same time two years prior. The number of prosecutions increased more than three-fold, and the number of defendants charged increased four-fold in the same period. However, we do acknowledge the numbers are low in comparison to the magnitude of trafficking and force labor nationwide.
The U.S. Department of State reports that many world governments have taken commendable steps to combat child sex tourism [CST]. For example, France's Ministry of Education and travel industry representatives developed guidelines on child sex tourism. Air France allocates a portion of in-flight toy sales to fund CST awareness programs. In India, film developers must report obscene depictions of children to police. Other protective laws have been established worldwide. In 2004, The United Arab Emirates established a shelter to care for former child camel jockey victims who have been trampled, who have suffered broken limbs, or who have never been seen by a doctor. Over 400 camel jockey boys were rescued and repatriated in 2004.
There is world government distribution and advertisement of Human Trafficking exploitation in most every nation. Stricter governmental control against importation and exportation of human slave goods is being implemented. Iris identification methods at airports are being introduced for stricter screening procedures to detect trafficking. DNA and bone density testing are being conducted to establish identification and claim for authentic child/parent relations. Thirty-one of the 46 countries on the 2004 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report Tier 2 watch list improved their rating substantially in TIP 2005.
Ambassador John R. Miller, Director of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, told this journalist:
"We need your dedication and energy and patience. The U.S. government can engage governments, we can seek to educate people around the world, but the fight to end modern slavery depends on the involvement of non-governmental organizations, regular citizens, individual diplomats, business people, and others. All of us must be committed to the new abolition movement of ending human trafficking."
Dr. Kevin Bales' poignant and grave parting words:
"We can bring this to an end. This could be the generation that, I think, can do it — the generation that says "enough!" We have had 5,000 years of slavery. I think we're going to do it."
Read all 16 columns on the subject of Trafficking of Human Slaves by Barbara Kralis at "21st Century Slavery," "Modern Day Slavery Flourishes," "Different Forms of Human Slavery," "Child Sex Tourism," "Slavery as Domestic Servitude," "Combatant Human Slaves," "Involuntary Human Servitude," "Child Slaves for Sport," "Trafficking
Barbara Kralis, the article's author, writes for various Christian and conservative publications. Her columns have been featured at RenewAmerica.us, Catholic World Report, Alliance Defense Fund, Intellectual Conservative, Life Issues, Catholic Culture, The Wanderer newspaper, Phil Brennan's WOW, ChronWatch, North Carolina Conservative, MichNews, Catholic Citizens, Illinois Family Institute, Illinois Leader, New Oxford Review, Seattle Catholic, Faithful Voice, NewsBull, and others. She and her husband, Mitch, live in the great State of Texas, and co-direct the Jesus Through Mary Catholic Foundation. She can be reached at: [email protected]
© 2006 Barbara Kralis
This item 7108 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org