Wednesday, January 09, 2008

US declares January 11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Good news (here) for those of us trying to raise awareness of human trafficking. What it will do to help eradicate the odious flesh trade remains to be seen, but it's a start.

A resolution passed by the US Senate on June 22, 2007 has forever marked January 11th as a day of awareness and vigilance for the countless victims of Human Trafficking across the globe.

Shared Hope International (SHI) - a leader in the worldwide effort to eliminate sexual slavery – and founder Congresswoman (1994-1999) Linda Smith has launched assessments in 10 U.S. cities that examine the condition of America's trafficked youth. These assessments analyze the identification and treatment of victims of "domestic minor sex trafficking" (DMST) and will empower communities to take action. SHI will also launch a nationwide awareness campaign -featuring amazing undercover footage and emotional survivor interviews - about the epidemic of American youth being trafficked in cities across the United States.

Full article here.

Let's hope other countries quickly jump on this very worthy bandwagon.

Canadians, please write to your MPs and demand that our government be among the first.

You can find your MP here. Emails are quick and snail mail is even more effective ... postage free if you send it to your MP at the House of Commons in Ottawa. If you need ideas for what to write, check out the excellent Human Trafficking Watch blog (here).

Ukrainians and other Slavs (and their diaspora communities) need to do the same in (and for) their respective countries. Ditto the Middle East. There isn't even one Middle East country on Shared Hope's list, and the only one East European one is the Czech Republic ...


Susan said...

Thank you for your concern and desire to highlight the problems of human trafficking. I am a bit confused though. According to everything I've been able to locate through the congressional record ( and my state senator's office, a resolution was introduced and passed in the Senate on June 22, 2007. However, while it was introduced in the House on March 27th (, it appears no further action was ever taken. Perhaps it would be good to check with your local congressional offices to see if I have misunderstood. If, in fact, nothing further did happen in the House, perhaps your article could be corrected and amended to request that people contact their representatives urging that the resolution be passed. Thank you.

Pawlina said...

Thanks, Susan. Because I'm Canadian, not American, I don't have a congressional office to check with, and just assumed (which obviously can be a mistake!) that the information in this article was correct.

It would be good to confirm the veracity of the published information. I hope you'll pose this same question to Congresswoman Smith as well as to the writer of the article, and let us know their answer.

In the meantime, I'll certainly be watching tomorrow to see if the US government does acknowledge January 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and reference its (alleged) legislation.