The price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance. – Thomas Jefferson
There are more slaves in the world today than there were in 1863 when Lincoln made his Emancipation Proclamation. Yet, the U.S. Senate is not debating how to solve the problem. The U.S. House of Representatives have not convened any committees to hold hearings and conduct their own investigation. Our President will not order his Attorney General to investigate and bring any guilty parties to justice.
Fortunately, there are several non-governmental organizations doing something about it.
The Polaris Project has done a fine job of increasing awareness about human trafficking and they operate a National phone hotline that victims can call for help, or concerned citizens can call to get information or help with a potential case.
Another excellent organization is California Against Slavery. They have been helping to spearhead the passage of Proposition 35, which if passed will increase the penalties for human trafficking and slavery in California.
Recognizing the Signs of Human Trafficking
The Polaris Project has posted these warning signs on one of their pages and I would like to share them here:
Common Work and Living Conditions: The Individual(s) in Question
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
- Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
- Avoids eye contact
Poor Physical Health
- Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
- Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Loss of sense of time
- Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
(Source: Polaris Project)
If you see something that doesn’t look right, take action. Each of those individuals who are being trafficked have parents, friends, people who love them. Each of us has some responsibility for each other and Mankind as a whole. Some day your child or loved one may be in a situation where another brave individual will make a difference in their life.
I personally have witnessed these warning signs on multiple occasions during my life. At times I acted; one time I did not act fast enough.
Lack of Control
- Why are Scientology Sea Organization members required to relinquish their passports to the Sea Organization?
- What happens to someone in the Sea Org who refuses to relinquish their passport?
In the United States its pretty easy for an IRS approved, Government sanctioned religion to hide behind that religious shield and claim infringement of their First Ammendment rights. Does Freedom of Religion mean freedom to violate the Human Rights of another and engage in human trafficking?
Not in my book.
A philosophy that was founded with a declared purpose of increasing the Self-Determinism of the individual has spawned a priesthood that “dauntlessly and defiantly” hails itself as a defender of human rights while simultaneously demanding the forfeiture of Self-Determinism on an incremental basis of it’s members. After three years of institutional Thought Reform, these members are reduced to blind obedience.
Now I’m gonna do something about it.
I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. – Jefferson
The Polaris Project hotline is 1-888-3737-888. You can call for help or info 24/7.
The hotline recently responded to its 60,000th call.
“That’s 60,000 calls in under 5 years, and 10,000 calls in the past 180 days. Our hotline, 1-888-373-7888, connects survivors of human trafficking and their allies with more than 3,000 service providers around the nation.”
(Source: Polaris Project e-newsletter Friday, September 28th, 2012)