According to the National Institute of Justice, human trafficking is:
- “Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.
- The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”
Traffickers can target anyone, whether they’re women or men, adults or children, immigrants or citizens, rich or poor, though groups like foster children, runaways, and undocumented immigrants are particularly vulnerable (see here). From the estimates on various sites that I’ve seen, somewhere from 21-45 million people today are enslaved–more than at any other point in history, even though slavery illegal. Some statistics about those 21-45 million people:
- About 78% are in forced labor, in the service industry and in industries that require manual labor.
- About 22% are in forced prostitution.
- About 26% are children.
(statistics taken from here.)
This image from a Washington Post article shows the number of slaves in each country–notice that the United States has between 50,000 and 100,000 slaves!!!
In face of these horrors and crimes against human dignity, there are many groups working to bring liberty and restoration to victims across the globe and in our hometowns. One of these groups is Dressember, a “collaborative movement leveraging fashion and creativity to restore dignity to all women.”
Dressember participants vow to wear a dress every day for the month of December in order to raise awareness of and funds to stop human trafficking. In the past three years, participants raised over $1.5 million, which was sent to our partner organizations, IJM and A21. These two groups have a long history of working tirelessly to liberate, restore, and protect victims.
This year alone, Dressember participants have already raised over $590K! That is enough to fund 93 rescue operations!
Please donate to my campaign to help bring justice to our world. You can donate here: https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraiser/786359.
As proof that I’ve been living up to my end of Dressember, here are pictures from this past week: