Posted by Michael Henstra on May 19, 2017
 
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Fighting Human Trafficking
and
Modern Slavery With Love
 
 
 
 
 
 
A prison-toilet-paper rose. Imagine you longed so deeply for love that a gift like this--sent from a trafficker with a message not to tell investigators what hell he inflicted--bonded you to him.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Re-creation of a piece of evidence from a case in Pennsylvania
 
 
At a recent meeting I learned the story of a trafficker who told 12 female victims he loved them, but then hurt them and sold them for sex. After he had been caught, some of the victims did not want to speak out against him because they still loved him. Their psychological bond was so strong that toilet paper roses sent to them and family members on Mother’s Day made it a challenge for law enforcement to gain their trust to learn the whole story.
 
This case was in my state, Pennsylvania, US, but occurs in similar forms throughout the US and the world.
 
Check out the map of 2016 US human trafficking cases called in through the National HT Hotline: https://polarisproject.org/resources/2016-hotline-statistics
 
These 8,042 cases don’t count the ones unreported, or reported through local law enforcement, FBI or Homeland Security.
 
Check out the map of global slavery:  http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/index/
 
Lots of things make people vulnerable to traffickers: hunger, homelessness, joblessness, lack of education, learning differences, youth, political strife/war, low self-esteem and lack of love.
 
Our E-Club is one of many partners that helped support a School4Freedom in India. The Rotarian magazine included the project in the May 2017 issue article entitled "Education breaks the cycle of modern slavery."
 
Although this isn't "our" exact village--we're not quite as far along--it's the same partners, area and process.  Watch a short video about it:  https://www.facebook.com/voices4freedom/videos/vb.156706411185922/570957516427474/?type=2&theater
 
 
Thanks to the CNN Freedom Project for covering Voices4Freedom.
 
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).
 

 

Our village, where 38 children have been freed this year, is one of many being helped by MSEMVS, Voices4Freedom and additional sponsors. Because of them, 1,719 people have been freed from slavery, 715 children are being educated, and 15 transitional schools have been built.
 
Education is one of the best vaccinations against slavery.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rotarians can do much to prevent cases and help victims. Talk about what healthy love is and isn’t (Love doesn’t hurt; no one is sold). Stop the demand—tell people it’s not ok to buy sex. Let the whole community—local and global—know you care.
 
After all, isn’t that what we do best?
 
 
 
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