With about a week left before the Super Bowl, thousands of women and children will be exploited as sexual slaves in the parties that celebrate this national event, which draws tens of millions of viewers.
It is estimated that about 14,500 children is trafficked into the United States and forced into manual labor and prostitution each year.
Raine Hong, special advisor to the U.N. regarding the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, wrote in her column to the Huffington Post,”…do we really need millions more victims in order to experience a true wake-up call?” These were the closing words of a former victim of human trafficking at the United Nation event hosted by the United Nations High Commission of Human Rights in 2009.
In addition to the first step of becoming aware of this tragedy, Hong said, the solution is to find out how one can help the women and children.
It is estimated that there are more than 27 million people who are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will, according to The A21 Campaign, an organization dedicated to addressing the injustices of human trafficking in the twenty-first Century.
Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to exploit someone for labor or commercial sex. Any minor exploited for commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking. Thousands of men, women and children are trafficked in the United States every year. Many of these victims are lured from their homes with false promises of well-paying jobs; instead, they are forced into prostitution, involuntary domestic servitude, farm or factory labor, or other types of forced labor.
Approximately one-third of human trafficking victims are treated by medical providers. Similar to observing patients for signs of abuse, fire and emergency medical service responders should be aware of the signs of human trafficking.