Empowering Educators to Prevent Human Trafficking
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Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry. Did you know every year approximately 17,500 people are being trafficked into the United States. According to the Polaris Organization, a nonprofit that works to combat and prevent modern-day slavery and human trafficking, in 2008 to 2010, 82% of suspected cases of human trafficking were classified as sex trafficking, nearly 50% of these cases involved victims under the age of 18. Traffickers are known to prey on the most helpless, such as children and teens with challenging family situations.
Luckily, a bill has been proposed to provide grants to educational agencies to support programs that train school staff on how to recognize and respond to signs of labor and sex trafficking. This federal bill is known as the Empowering Educators to Prevent Trafficking Act. If passed this law will provide an implemented plan with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of school staff after a report on sex trafficking is filed. Victims of sex trafficking will be provided with legal, social and health services. This law will bring awareness, help trafficked victims and advise young children to avoid potential dangers.
Pennsylvania has also been affected by this problem. According to Pennsylvania’s National Human Trafficking Hotline, around 200 human trafficking cases have been reported last year. Just imagine how many cases are not reported due to fear, lack of resources and unawareness. Sex trafficking, exploitation and/or involuntary labor can affect any of us at any moment. It is our duty as citizens to speak up for those who are silenced. As average citizens we may not be able to pass this bill on our own. We need the help of Representatives, such as Mike Doyle, in order to pass a federal bill, such as the Empowering Educators to Prevent Trafficking Act.
Many people, especially children and teens are unaware about human trafficking and its problems. I know that I am not alone in feeling very passionate about educating our children about the risks of being enslaved and trafficked. It is imperative that we educate the most vulnerable people in society, our youth, on how to avoid becoming victims and slaves to sex and labor traffickers.
If you agree that something needs to be done about human trafficking, in not only Pennsylvania, but all over the world please sign this petition to take part in the fight against this heinous crime!
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