Throughout Middle School, High School, and college, we all learn about slavery— the degrading of people, the process of diminishing them as playthings of power. We all get to hear about the progress we've made, the Civil Rights Acts, and the movements that changed the political fabric of the time.
But we don't talk about the form of slavery that permeates through the world, today. We never talk about the way in which human trafficking is a $32 billion dollar industry. We never talk about how approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, and how 80% of those people are women (1).
The United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime defines human trafficking as "any form of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving a person by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, or deception" (2).
And this isn't a one-time-thing. Pimps can make revenue off the women again, again, and again.
A sex trafficking survivor from Cambodia recalls, "They forced me to sleep with as many as 50 customers a day. I had to give [the pimp] all my money. If I did not [earn a set amount] they punished me by removing my clothes and beating me with a stick until I fainted, electrocuting me, cutting me" (3).
Ludwig “Tarzan” Fainberg, a convicted trafficker, said, “You can buy a woman for $10,000 and make your money back in a week if she is pretty and young. Then everything else is profit" (4).
It's an ugly and vicious cycle, and it's one Gracie Greene wants to break. In third world countries, families themselves would sell their own daughters to traffickers, hoping to make money. They do not see them as girls with potential. They see them as money-makers.
In instance, 10-year-old Gita was sold into a brothel by her aunt. Gita now recalls that whenever she protested working, "the older girls held her down and stuck a piece of cloth in her mouth so no one would hear her scream as she was raped by a customer. She would later contract HIV" (5).
Here at Gracie Greene, we want to beat the vicious cycle with our own.
The cycle of education is a powerful one, as it provides a bright future for girls in that it gives them incentive to see a future for themselves. They get to grow up in an environment where they are not treated as inferior, or told what to do with their body. It's their mind that is cultivated, and opportunity that is given.
Help us give them that opportunity.
Buy a bag and save a life.
1) Deshpande, Neha A, and Nawal M Nour. “Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls.” Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology, MedReviews, LLC, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3651545/.
2) Deshpande, Neha A, and Nawal M Nour. “Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls.” Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology, MedReviews, LLC, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3651545/.
3) Equality Now. “Global Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet.” Equality Now, Yasmeen Hassan, 18 July 2016, www.equalitynow.org/traffickingFAQ.
4) Skinner, E. Benjamin. A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. New York, NY: Free Press, 2008.
5) Skinner, E. Benjamin. A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. New York, NY: Free Press, 2008.)