January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While slavery may seem like a dark and distant time in our history, slavery still happens all over the world, even in the United States, while many people are unaware. In fact, over 40 million people are enslaved around the world, according to UN News. According to the United Nations, modern slavery “is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking.”
These horrible acts need to be stopped, which is why in January many try to raise their voices and bring awareness. As Obama said in his Presidential Proclamation in 2016, “During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we resolve to shine a light on every dark corner where human trafficking still threatens the basic rights and freedoms of others.”
What can we do to bring about change to this significant problem?
First, we ourselves need to be informed of the reality of modern day slavery. Some resources include organizations like the End It Movement and Hope for Justice, or for a more in depth look, there is a fact sheet of external resources compiled by NCTSN.
Second, we should raise our voices and try to bring awareness so our friends, classmates, co-workers and colleagues can also be informed.
Finally, we need to keep our eyes open to our own safety and the safety of those around us. You may have heard the mantra, “See Something, Say Something” and this is extremely important! Do you know about the college safety resources available to you at NOVA? Your safety is a priority, so please use these resources and encourage others to do the same. Toward the end of his Proclamation, Obama reminded us that “We must always remember that our freedom is bound to the freedom of others.”