01/24/2013 06:11 pm ET

Protecting Our Children: Human Trafficking Awareness Month

On October 22, 2009 the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights hosted four previously trafficked victims during a U.N. event. The closing words from one who was rescued from human trafficking resounded:

Today we live in times where slavery is still all around us. As we move forward, or strive to move forward in providing more freedom and equality and basic human rights for all, we have on the other side this horrible fact -- do we really need millions more victims in order to experience a true wake up call?

To this, I say, "No." We have the evidence, we have the shattered lives, we have a wake up call everyday -- we just keep hitting the "snooze" button and go back to sleep. The trafficked young lady who spoke these words during the event on October 22, 2009 had hope. Are we any further down the road, just over three years later, of answering her question or do we still ask the questions that go unanswered?

Human trafficking is real. We must protect our children.

On January 10, 2013, I spoke at the Hidden in Plain Sight Human Trafficking Awareness event at the Marcus Pavilion at Saint Martin's University in Lacey, WA. I was there to raise awareness about human trafficking. We as parents want to be aware of the dangers; we as a society must be aware of the vulnerabilities. We want to protect our children.

Sadly, many people doubt that it does happen around us, yes, even in the United States. One of the greatest human trafficking events in the U.S. is coming up on February 3rd this year. During this event millions of people gather around the TV to party and watch two teams fight for the winner's circle in the legendary Super Bowl. One team will win. Consequently, thousands will lose. Thousands of women and children are human trafficked for these parties and events. It really does happen in our community.

I work to bring global awareness to the worldwide problem of human trafficking. I have helped pass legislation to fight human trafficking. I am a special advisor to the U.N. regarding the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. Regarding children, human traffickers bring about 14,500 children into the United States to become trapped in slavery each year.

I also ask the question, " we really need millions more victims in order to experience a true wake up call?"

I speak for those without a voice, for the millions of children that are sold into slavery. We must protect our children.

To be aware of this tragedy is one thing, to find out how you can help, is a solution. What can you do to help these women and children? The problem is large, yet the solution begins with one step toward spreading awareness and protecting our children and stepping up to lend a hand.

I made a choice that I'm going to live for tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be different. What kind of choice are you willing to make today? Yes, you can do something and you are needed.

Please take the time to go to my website, The Tronie Foundation. There you can read articles, watch my videos and learn how you can lend a hand.