America has become an equal opportunity country when it comes to human trafficking, the newest form of modern-day slavery, according to the FBI. So in our nation of approximately 317 million people, there are 27 million men, women and children who are the victims of this top criminal enterprise. To put that in clearer terms: one out of every 11 American-born individuals will be a victim of human trafficking in their lifetime.
On July 8, Fox News reported that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would be holding a hearing about how to combat the forced labor and modern-day slavery going on in this country. And don't think it is all about sex trafficking, because it is not, with many people being forced to work under conditions like the black slaves were forced to work in years ago.
But just as it took decades of despair and years of indifference before that situation was addressed, so to it appears that Americans are turning a blind eye to the enslavement of people in their midst today. Men, women and children are being forced to work in every sector of the U.S. economy, according to Fox, like poultry processing, farming, meat packaging and even domestic service, like this girl who talks about her domestic enslavement for MSNBC.
Out of concern for this growing trend that does not just limit itself to sexual trafficking of young girls or children, the U.S. State Department has released their 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report. And in an effort to get you on board with helping the government stop this form of human slavery, they are willing to give you a free copy via online download. You can also request a copy be mailed to you by sending your name, mailing address and the number of copies you want to this email address: TIPOutreach@state.gov
But those fighting human trafficking don't want you to stop there, as they could use your help in getting legislation passed to help in that fight. For example, the House has already passed H.R. 3530, the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act, but it has little chance of passing the Senate. And the Senate needs to hear from you about S1738, which they introduced in 2013, but which also has little chance of passing if they don't hear from their state's constituents about it.
America has a new enemy, one that is attacking her from within her own borders, and one that threatens the future of 27 million Americans every year, from children to adults. That threat is human trafficking, the modern-day slavery of choice for criminals. But the FBI, State Department and some members in the Congress are trying to fight this threat.
Will you do your part to help them? It starts by learning all you can about the problem, which is easier now that you know you can get that information for free at the links listed above. And it also includes reaching out to your House of Representatives leader or your state's senator, to let them know you want laws passed to deal with this issue.
And if you suspect human trafficking in your neighborhood or on your job, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. After all, all kinds of slavery are against the law, no matter what form it takes in 2014.