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OPINION: More than just a red X - The Trail Blazer: News

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OPINION: More than just a red X

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Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 5:01 pm

Refusing anyone basic human rights is disgusting and absurd.

With the End It movement taking place today, I find myself broken hearted for every victim that is left helplessly yearning for freedom. 20.9 million people have fallen prey to human trafficking in nearly every single country and those numbers are nothing less than unacceptable.

The International Labour Organization estimates that 68 percent of human trafficking victims are trapped in forced labor. In the United States, we have worked to create equal rights and opportunities for every single human being, regardless of their race, sex, religion or any other means of discriminating. We fall into a comfortable mindset that everything is okay with the world because we don’t see the disgusting realities that our world still faces. When we come across the sudden epiphany in our lives, that the freedoms we take advantage of and expect are forcefully stripped from men, women and children, it knocks us down a peg.

“I think the End It movement plays an important role in ending human trafficking,” said Morehead State University student Sara Adkins. “As for putting a red X on your hand to raise awareness, it may not seem like that big of a deal, but I think it is. Eventually someone is going to ask you about it and that gives you an opportunity to explain what the problem is and ways to help fight against it.”

Simply wearing a red X on your hand may seem like such a small and insignificant gesture, but if it sparks even one conversation for you to tell someone about the movement, it can make all the difference.

“Human trafficking is a much bigger problem than what people realize,” said Adkins. “It’s something that doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, economic status, etc. Nobody is safe from it.”

It’s easy to ignore a problem when it’s not directly affecting you, but the moment you place yourself in the shoes of those individuals that are sold into slavery, you can’t help but be uncomfortable. The International Labour Organization estimates that human trafficking and forced labor has become a $150 billion industry worldwide. I don’t mind offering my time as a volunteer, but to be forced into hard labor with no pay or hope of escaping is entirely different and impossible to imagine.

Of the 20.9 million victims that are abducted, it is estimated that 55 percent are women or girls. These women and girls are primarily targeted for sexual slavery, as a nation that is so outspoken about rape, why do we fall silent on this topic? To imagine a child being raped and left without any chance of survival is heart wrenching and makes my stomach churn. Child abuse in the United States is combated as often as possible and nearly everyone stands firmly against the tragedy, so why not have the same reaction with these children?

Human trafficking is wrong, although it may never impact your immediate life, we should all feel for these helpless victims. Anyone who disagrees is heartless and needs a reality check.