The issue of human trafficking is not often talked about. Most people you ask aren’t even aware that it exist here in the US. I was made aware of this last spring, and since then have be passionate about making people aware of this horrible act of modern day slavery.
Here are some facts about human trafficking that you may have not known.
# Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world.
# The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
# Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including:
* Forcing victims into prostitution
* Subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude
* Compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography
* Misleading victims into debt bondage
# According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
# It is estimated that there are approximately 27 million slaves around the world.
# Around half of trafficking victims in the world are under the age of 18.
# More than 2/3 of sex trafficked children suffer additional abuse at the hands of their traffickers.
# Trafficked children are significantly more likely to develop mental health problems, abuse substances, engage in prostitution as adults, and either commit or be victimized by violent crimes later in life.
# Women who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation experience a significantly higher rate of HIV and other STDs, tuberculosis, and permanent damage to their reproductive systems.
# Trafficking victims normally don’t get help because they think that they or their families will be hurt by their traffickers, or that they will be deported.
I, Meriah began to think of ways that I could use my gift to help make people more aware of this topic. Elena Fesiuk, and Sergio Fesiuk lead an organization here in Asheville, NC called Tears of color.
TEARS OF COLOR is an initiative to engage every human being in each of their five senses to rise up for injustice using their gifts and talents. To feed the creative mind and soul of each individual and connect them to a need. To inspire, challenge and encourage action. To inform each individual of issues in the world and how they can help using their resource, creativity and artistic abilities. To change mindsets and re frame thinking. Their mission is to begin a movement, a revolution that effects all and transcends borders, boundaries, boxes and any limitations. Simply put – another way to change the world.
Tears of color put on an incredible event at the Orange Peel here in Asheville. The event started off with an art auction. Local artist donated their work to be auctioned off. Then we enjoyed concerts by the amazing Mariya Fesiuk, Jack Huggins, and Shannon Whitworth. Elana then shared with the huge crowd her passion and her vision for abolishing human trafficking. Mayor Terry M. Bellamy also shared that evening, challenging us as North Carolinian’s to get involved. To close the night out some of the members of the Center Stage Dance Studio did a couple of performances with the theme being human trafficking. One of the performances showed the link between girls that are being trafficked and puppets on a string, which is the theme for next years Tears of Color event.
Here are a couple of pictures from the evenings event. I hope you will be challenged to get involved and find out how you can use your talents and gifts to fight against this modern day slavery.
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