On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery. Unfortunately, 156 years later, slavery is still taking place in the United States as well as all over the world.
To commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation and to send the message that any form of slavery is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NJCAHT) held the event “Human Trafficking: Surviving and Thriving” on Monday, April 16, 2018.
Many speakers informed the event’s attendees about the plight of human trafficking victims and the efforts to assist them. Sister Mary Beth Lloyd of John Corr Family Resources described the extreme poverty in Brazil that leads many families to prostitute their daughters in order to feed their families. The average age of these girls is 6-9 years old and the nuns run a mission to shelter and rescue as many girls as possible. Monica Kristen of Dreamcatchers spoke about their work to provide crisis counseling, follow-up when survivors return home, and job assistance. Dreamcatchers currently has four offices and 600 clients. Kate Lee of NJCAHT explained their latest project of distributing soap bars with NJCAHT’s contact information to hotels, a common place where traffickers bring their victims. The audience also heard testimonies from human trafficking survivors.
Attendees donated outfits for survivors preparing for job interviews.
For more information, contact the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking at INFO@njhumantrafficking.org or call their number at 201-901-2111. Many committees and programs are always looking for volunteers.
Human trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal organization in the world and the only way to make strides to combat it is for us to unite against it. Much progress has been made but still much more work needs to be done.
After attending the event, I realize there needs to be a mobilization of great kindness and support to battle this extreme evil.