Human Trafficking in Orlando

April 8, 2011 Local, News

Rollins has taken its first steps in bringing human trafficking awareness to the college community. The Immersion Committee is hosting an immersion trip to the Clearwater area to learn about human trafficking, and this year’s Week of Action has an entire day devoted to this topic.

Three weeks ago, at a concert to benefit victims of human trafficking, a representative from the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (FCAHT) came to speak about the topic and how it happens in Orlando.

According to the FCAHT website, human trafficking “involves the commercial exchange and exploitation of humans including forced prostitution and pornography, involuntary labor, servitude and debt bondage.” Before this concert, I had an idea of what human trafficking was, but I had no idea that it was going on minutes from Rollins.

Before the concert, Airam Dato-on ’13 said, “I knew human trafficking was happening, but I didn’t know it was so prevalent in my own backyard. I thought it only occurred in developing countries on the other side of the world.”

So, how do you make a difference? Donations to the FCAHT go toward housing, food, water, health care and therapy for victims. FCAHT and Florida Abolitionist also offer community training sessions to educate the public.

In terms of the most common criminal activity, human trafficking is second only to the illegal drug trade. The FCAHT site also states that, “Currently, there are approximately 27 million people enslaved throughout the world with 2.5 million located right here in the United States.”

The first step in helping this cause is awareness. To find out more about human trafficking, attend the human trafficking workshop April 14 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Faculty Club. Or, go to www.stophumantrafficking.org to learn about the issue facing our community.

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