Human Trafficking and stopping the unthinkable


Photo Credit: © UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2579/Shehzad Noorani. Parul hides her face in Proshanti, a shelter managed by the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA). She was married at 14 years old, but her husband abandoned her when she became pregnant. She left the baby with her parents when her aunt offered to find her a job in Dhaka. The aunt instead brought her to Kolkata, India, and sold her to a brothel. She was forced to become a sex worker. She was later arrested in a police raid and sent to a local women’s shelter. 

Human trafficking is perhaps one of the most unimaginable practices in existence in today’s world. However, it is real and it is happening even outside my very own doorstep in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just this morning when I picked up the newspaper, I read the startling news that the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul has been ranked the 13th largest center for child prostitution in the country. Thankfully much is being done to combat sex and human trafficking in Minnesota thanks to the newly signed piece of legislation called the Minnesota Safe Harbors Law.* Yet much more needs to be done in this combined metro area of close to 3 million people, and even a larger battle remains on a global scale.

Nearly no place in the world is untouched by human trafficking. Furthermore human trafficking can occur within and outside of international borders occurring in a variety of industries ranging from sex trade, to forced child labor and child soldiers. Oftentimes the victims are kidnapped against their will or inadvertently taken from their families who believe their children are going away to get an eduction where in reality they are being sold into a life of servitude and slavery inside a brothel.

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