Polaris Project—Fighting Slavery Today

It is the second largest, and fastest growing, criminal industry in our world, and yes, slavery is happening “over there” even now…but it is happening “over here” too…right now…today.

The Polaris Project is named for the North Star, Polaris, that guided slaves toward freedom along the Underground Railroad, and is an organization that is committed to combating human trafficking and modern day slavery. There are several great organizations committed to ending slavery and trafficking, this one with operations based in Washington DC, Newark, NJ, and Tokyo, Japan. Polaris Project is one of the few organizations working on all forms of trafficking and serving both citizen and foreign national victims of human trafficking. Their comprehensive approach includes direct outreach and victim identification, providing social services and transitional housing to victims, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC—the central national hotline on human trafficking), advocating for stronger state and Federal anti-trafficking legislation, training law enforcement and service providers, and engaging community members in local and national grassroots efforts.

The U.S. State Department estimates that 14,500-17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked illegally into this country each year for the sex trade or as involuntary servants. That is just the number of foreign slaves brought to the United States every year. The numbers are, of course, much higher on the international scale, and US statistics also rise when you include US citizens who are forced into modern day slavery—worldwide the numbers are at about twenty-seven million. 50% of the victims are children, under the age of 18, and 80% of the victims are female. Children pushed into the sex trade are forced into prostitution by the age of 12-14 years old…and this is a late start for some who begin being professionally assaulted before their age hits double digits.

The Polaris Project Action Center has ways for you to get involved. Don’t be a passive bystander while this continues, and grows. There are volunteer opportunities as well as action alerts and advocacy suggestions to help spread the word, lobby for change, and turn this unconscionable situation around. Take a stand.

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