Human Trafficking Awareness Day is Saturday. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and is defined as controlling a person through force, fraud or coercion — physical or psychological — and to exploit the person for forced labor or sex, including prostitution or pornography. It is estimated that annually 27 million people are trafficked globally: 80 percent are women, 15 percent are children and 5 percent are men. Most victims are women and children forced into sexual slavery. Human trafficking is a growing industry, generating more than $32 billion a year.
Victims of trafficking can be national or international, coming into the country legally or illegally, or born and raised in the United States. Most sex trafficking victims in the United States are domestic youth.
Today, up to 300,000 American youth are at risk of being sold into sexual slavery and the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that these youth only will live seven years upon entry into the sex trade. We are challenged to raise awareness about this heinous crime and work toward ending it in our lifetime. Sisters and Brothers Collaborating Against Trafficking group and Mount Mercy University graduate students invite you to a service at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Chapel, 1125 Prairie Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids.