I first learned about Nomi Network when I purchased a "Buy her bag, not her body" tote. Trafficking survivors design and manufacture these bags with locally sourced materials such as recycled rice sacks.
The more we opt to invest in a transparent discourse about subjects that may make us feel uncomfortable, the less likely that underreported crimes against humanity will be swept under the social and legal rugs of history.
In many parts of the world, young girls are lured with promises, or simply carried off to be sold as sex slaves. Born in poverty, they are condemned to live a sad and hopeless life. The cries of these throwaway girls have been largely ignored until recent years.
Sex work and human trafficking are not the same. A sex worker is someone with agency, who is over the age of 18 and willfully choosing to do sex work. Trafficking victims and survivors are people who are trapped, coerced and threatened.
"Western soldiers will no longer be dying on a daily basis and, frankly, who will care any more about the deaths of Afghans after 2014? Can we honestly believe that, in this likely scenario, combating the abuse of poor children will be a priority?"
The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act requires retail sellers and manufacturers doing business to publicly disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains.
As I walked through the Cape Coast Castle, I realized that the slavery of centuries ago is not very different from modern day slavery -- the gross violation of human rights and the apathy of the masses towards their plight.
As individuals, we resolve to do all kinds of things. But it is those commitments we resolve to do as a society which are both more difficult and more meaningful. This decade, let us resolve to end human slavery.