Human Trafficking Awareness Week in full swing

Modern day slavery exists … even in Missouri. The University of Missouri is hoping to increase awareness of the problem this week.

Stop Traffic is one of the groups hosting several events throughout the week at the University of Missouri to educate the public about labor trafficking and sex trafficking.

Movie screenings, free-trade fairs, lectures and more are happening on campus throughout the week.

Organizer Shannon Montanez says both are in Missouri, but in two different markets. While Missouri’s metro cities — St. Louis and Kansas City — are bringing in those who are victims of sex trafficking, rural areas often utilize cheap labor on farms and in factories.

Shopping from major retail stores that also take advantage of carrying products resulting from cheap labor is another way people inadvertantly support human trafficking.

Montanez says people shouldn’t solicit sex from the erotica section on Craigslist, a hotbed of illegal trafficking activity, or buy items from large retail corporations, which could be buying from labor shops where people are underpaid, under-fed and overworked.

The International Labor Organization estimates nearly 2.5 million people have been victims of human trafficking over the past ten years.

The U-S Department of Justice estimates 50 percent of victims of human trafficking are children.

The U-S Department of State estimates that 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls. While the majority of them are exploited for sex, some of them are also illegally imported for the labor market.

For a schedule of events or more information, visit


Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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