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This weekend my family and I participated in our second “DC Walk to Stop Modern Slavery”.  Human trafficking is something that has been close to my heart since a life-changing trip to Thailand and remains a huge passion, even as I mother three little kids.  (Mommy and Anti-Human Trafficking Activist).  The only problem, is that since I stepped into the role of “mommy”, I’ve been unsure about how to continue in the role of “activist”.

Before I was a mom, I was intentional about living connected to the needs of the oppressed, especially among the female population of the world.  But since I’ve become a mom to small kids, there is a frustrating disconnect that has happened between my desire to be an active part of “justice” and compassion oriented missions and the realities involved in caring for the day-to-day needs of my little ones.

I’m sure I’m not the only one wanting to help end human trafficking, but feeling helpless based on current life circumstances.  So today I’m sharing with you about our DC walk as one small way we’ve found to bridge the gap between life as a young family and being an active voice for the voiceless.  I encourage YOU to participate in an awareness walk/run, similar to the DC Walk to Stop Modern Slavery!  (here’s a post last year’s walk experience)  You can totally do it with a stroller and make it a great day with the family, while walking for freedom for the oppressed!

It is stunning and completely unacceptable that currently 27 million people are being trafficked and abused for labor or commercial sexual exploitation around the world!  While this is a huge and overwhelming problem, the first step towards eradicating this type of de-humanizing criminal activity is education.  The victims need education about how to avoid the traps of traffickers, but so do we!  We need to know what it looks like, how it happens, where it happens, and what to do if we see such a crime in progress.

Get educated, and talk to others about the reality of human trafficking.  It’s not just overseas, it’s likely in your hometown as well.  So here are a few myths and facts to get the ball rolling!

Top 4 myths about Human Trafficking: (by StopModernSlavery.org)

1. False: Trafficking is forced transportation of people across borders.
True: Trafficking is modern-day slavery through labor/commercial sexual exploitation; it does not require transportation to occur.

2. False: Trafficking includes only foreign nationals.
True: Many trafficked persons are victims of domestic trafficking — within the borders of a single country and are themselves nationals of that country.

3. False: Trafficking is caused by poverty and inequality.
True: Trafficking is not primarily caused by poverty and inequality; this industry is driven by A) the potential for large profit due to high demand B) negligible-to-low risk of prosecution.

4. False: Trafficking cannot be stopped.
True: Trafficking CAN be stopped. Stopping it requires the collective efforts of government, NGO’s, private sector, and the community.  We organize this walk because we believe massive public awareness, increased funding for NGO’s, and collaboration among different sectors of society are crucial to stopping Human Trafficking.

Some other great ways to raise awareness are through fundraising campaigns, walks/runs, or local documentary showings that shed light on the issue of modern-day slavery.

Let’s get educated, raise our voices and do something about it together!

If you are interested in learning more, the site below has great articles and a video that will be helpful to you.

Not For Sale: End Human Trafficking