Posted by Olivia Sanwong Handerson, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Feb 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm
As an Amador Valley alumna, I am proud to see fellow alum Ryan Mackle work on a documentary like “Of Broken Wings.” His work is helping to bring the topic of child prostitution in Central America into our conversations around Pleasanton. My goal with this post is to expand the topic further: the children mentioned in this article are part of a bigger issue facing the world today - modern day slavery. Slavery is not something that happened in the past. More people are held in modern day slavery than when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This is not just a problem in other countries – cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C. In fact, we have had several cases of modern day slavery right here in the Bay Area:
Per the Freedom Center website, the numbers behind modern day slavery include:
An estimated 12 - 27 million people are caught in one or another form of slavery. Between 600,000 and 800,000 are trafficked internationally, with as many as 17,500 people trafficked into the United States. Nearly three out of every four victims are women. Half of modern-day slaves are children.
What will end modern day slavery? (also from the Freedom Center website)
Most experts believe that slavery will exist as long as there are economic disparities and unscrupulous individuals willing to exploit others for profit. But that doesn’t mean effective action isn’t possible. Slavery’s ugly presence can be reduced or eliminated through these steps:
• Raising public awareness of the existence of slavery in the global economy by, for example, listing products or services derived from forced labor;
• Pressing for national laws and local statutes that make human trafficking a separate and distinct crime;
• Reducing demand for commercial sex by increasing liabilities for those who purchase sex;
• Enforcing existing national prohibitions against slavery and human trafficking through increased reliance on transnational investigational work and data collection and sharing.
*Link: Web Link
And finally, as a woman of Thai descent, I encourage Mr. Mackle and others in our community to see Thailand beyond the myth of Thailand as sex tourist destination. We have a sex industry here in the US and the industry is really no bigger in Thailand as in America: Web Link
* From this post I found an informative link focused on recognizing human trafficking of children in the US and information for reporting cases: Web Link
Thank you for the opportunity to share this information.
Olivia Sanwong Handerson