Beautiful, Interesting and Ooo Shiny! Images From Various Places

The Thing No One Wants to Talk About

Location: Indonesia
Camera info: Fuji Finepix A303 / Automatic Point & Shoot
ISO 100 • f 2.8 • 1/240 sec

I don’t know how I got here. I can’t remember much of the past few hours at all. This afternoon, I went to the market with my friends, and one of the merchants offered us free samples of his latest dish. Not long after trying it, I felt really tired, so I sat down on a bench while my friends continued shopping nearby. That’s the last I remember. Now I’m in a dimly lit room with no windows, and a door locked from the outside. I’ve tried calling for help several times, but no one answers.

Soon, an older man and woman enter the room. I try to get them to help me, but they just look at me coldly. The woman accuses me of stealing food at the market, and tells me I must work to pay her back. I refuse and try to run past her, but the man grabs me and hits me until I stop fighting. He drops me to the floor, where I sit there crying, unable to move because of the pain.

That first night in the brothel still haunts my dreams. I had three “customers” visit me, and each one was meaner than the one before. They didn’t care that I was only a child, or that I was trapped in a tiny room while my family searched for me in vain. All they wanted was what I could give them, no matter how unwillingly.

(This fictional story was adapted from the testimony of a young woman in India, who was rescued after being enslaved since she was 12 years old).

It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so I wanted to focus on that tough topic this week. As most of America gears up for the Super Bowl on Feb 5th, traffickers are also preparing for one of their busiest weeks of the year. Children and young girls are brought into the city from Asia, Europe, and the Americas to give visitors more “entertainment” during their stay. Local law enforcement and many ministries are working to prevent these things from happening and rescue these modern-day slaves, but it’s everyday people who can raise awareness and protect their children and others’ the best. Turning a blind eye to the problem will only allow it to continue unhindered.

So what is your part in ending modern-day slavery?

4 responses

  1. EL

    I’m a proud supporter of HRW – Human Rights Watch and of course this is a global problem that needs to be dealt with.. With Eyes Wide Open.. Thank you for sharing this.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    • Thanks for helping to do something about it! 🙂

      January 31, 2012 at 12:27 am

  2. Ryan Foust

    How do I plan to help this problem? The same way I plan to help all the troubles most of us produce.

    A great deal of the world seeks to prevent things from occuring after they’ve occurred. Obviously, these problems already exist so there’s no getting around that anymore, but I’m approaching my methods from a prevention point of view as opposed to a pure curing whats already there one problem at a time. Mind you, “cure” isn’t really the appropriate term for what I think most are actually trying to do about this, but bare with me for a moment.

    Take medical cures, for instance. Most of the problems we have in sickness can be prevented before they even start with a good diet, nice exercise, and some other things many don’t pay attention to. Still, we tend to live lives that insist upon living with things that degrade our bodies and minds, thus, leading to illness. Because of this, we start seeking remedies after they’ve appeared.

    We’ve become rather addicted to this practice in most of what we do, including law enforcement. Almost every problem, every evil, that can exist has existed, but we tend to wait for it to pop again than seek to constructively stop it before it has a good chance to pop up again. When it pops up again, then we start acting, but only enough to suppress it. Often, we never truly change anything about ourselves. Our habits remain roughly the same, we just wait for it to show up again before we beat it back.

    This problem isn’t really an exception in my mind. It only exists because there are mentalities and practices that encourage it.

    I plan to help as many of these problems as I can by getting ahead of them. How do you get ahead of them? By finding and sharing/teaching the methods by example that will help people not want to contribute to these degredational behaviors to begin with. I suppose many try to do that already, but lets just say I think many are either doing it completely incorrectly or they’re missing components in their teachings. These missed components create easy holes, vulnerabilities that easily lead people back to square one in the temptation to either take part in harming others, or not doing anything to help those that are being harmed.

    I seek to help the world by going back to the beginning. By retraining those that will allow it in methods and ways of life that will encourage the elimination for such a perceived need for things like this.

    The true scope of the plan I have is highly detailed, and I could write a book on it, but I have a way. Its core is just to not only show others that they don’t need most of the things out there that lead to detrimental behaviors, but also show them what the alternatives are. I know its not a good description for the question, but as I said, the true answer behind what I have in mind is quite long.

    It is not a fast solution, but I understand changing the world in the way that it needs to be changed to make things like this disappear is not a fast thing. It will not end by tightened laws, but by a reforging of the wills of the people. That means they must be shown the power they have within themselves to make a difference. That will only happen through practice, not just awareness, messages, and demand. Awareness is only the beginning. What I plan to do will go well beyond that.

    January 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

  3. Pingback: 2012: The Greatest Hits « Pictures Around the World

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