2012-2013 High school essay contest: Honorable mention

Human trafficking is proliferating everywhere across the world. While countries such as India, Mexico and Bangladesh most commonly come to people’s minds regarding the matter; modern slavery is just as significant inside the US borders, and in all 50 states. Estimates of tens of thousands of people are trafficked as slaves in the US alone (Tupper). The types of human trafficking are forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor or debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers and child sex trafficking (Ritch). The most widely known, and clearly the most dominant sector of human trafficking is commercial sex (Ritch). Countless women are being kidnapped, sold, or pushed helplessly into the world of sex slavery. Thousands of young girls and women, most commonly from Thailand, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Philippines, India, Haiti, and Guatemala, are shipped to the United States to be bought and sold as sex objects (Danner-McDonald). Statistics show that the age of victims who are children range from 9 to 19, the average being 11, the age of a child who would be attending 6th grade (Vigilano)…

The truth is, most of us benefit from human slavery without even noticing it. We benefit from cheap prices of goods that are kept low from modern slavery and buy things that were made by unpaid workers in sweatshops without knowing it (Tupper). Our job is to be aware and educated about these things to prevent contributing to human trafficking invisible to the naked eye. The Internet is full of information about what companies use human slavery as a means of production and what companies don’t. While we can’t change everything, we can make realistic decisions of replacing shops that use human slavery with shops that verify fair trade.

– Excerpted from “Fighting with love against human trafficking” by Jean Ahn, Bethany Christian Schools (Goshen, Indiana), Grade 12.

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