Students stand against human trafficking
THE SANTA CLARA
January 23, 2014
It’s known as modern-day slavery and considered by many to be one of the most important issues in the world today.
An estimated 27 million people were victims of human trafficking, and an estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2007 Trafficking Report.
The Freedom Project is an organization on campus founded two years ago to bring awareness to Santa Clara that human trafficking is ever prevalent in our world today.
“(Human trafficking) is not just a third-world problem. It is present globally including in the United States,” said Robbie Waddell, president of the Freedom Project. “The Bay Area is actually one of the hot spots for human trafficking in the U.S. today.”
Sex exploitation and forced labor are just a few examples of human trafficking. The average female victim is approximately 13 years old, according to Waddell.
“It is important to advocate against human trafficking because the more people who know about it, the more resources we have to do something about it,” said sophomore Bradford Wyant, co-founder of the Freedom Project. “Human trafficking is a crime that, apparently, does not get the recognition it deserves or the resources and political attention it needs to be mitigated.”
To honor January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the Freedom Project is hosting several events this week.
Today the club will host a film screening of “Hark,” Communication Department Lecturer Jonathan Fung’s self-directed film, which will be followed by a question and answer with several panelists — including Fung, his own daughter who appears in the short film and other panelists associated with local, nonprofit organizations advocating social justice.
On Friday, Jan. 24, the Freedom Project will host Stand for Freedom, an event founded by the International Justice Mission, a nonprofit organization focused toward rescuing victims of human trafficking internationally to establish, in Waddell’s words, “a just public justice system in order to prosecute the perpetrators.”
Universities around the world host the event Stand for Freedom.
“Students stand for 27 hours for the 27 million slaves that are in our world,” says Waddell.
Last year, 50 volunteers, including Jesuit priests, supported Stand for Freedom throughout the 27 hours.
The Freedom Project will be tabling at the lawn between the Benson Memorial Center and the Harrington Learning Commons, providing information about human trafficking in addition to baked goods for purchase. All of the profits will go to International Justice Mission.
Contact Naushaba Khan at email@example.com or (408) 554-4852.