The term human trafficking often doesn't give the impression of the true horrors that are experienced by people who are forced into an industry that claims your life, name, and human rights.
Human trafficking is, at its core, slavery, and as President Abraham Lincoln once said, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”
There are many organizations in the US that are dedicated to ending human trafficking. One of these organizations is called Amilia's Light; their mission is to spread awareness about sex trafficking and help empower survivors through education, counseling, and jobs programs.
Recently, Amilia’s Light partnered with Unicef to screen the film "Not My Life" at the United Church of Christ in Medfield. The film details the different experiences that men, women, and children have had with human trafficking.
The video went into detail about the atrocities that boys who were forced into labor experienced. It talked about children who killed themselves out of grief.
Girls were forced to work for pimps and it destroyed their lives. One girl was being held by her captor while her friend tried to escape. Her captor forced her to beat her friend to death for her attempted escape.
The reactions of viewers varied, but as they left, most wore a somber expression. As William Wilberforce, a famous abolitionist, once said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
Several students from Medfield High School who are members of A5, the youth ambassador arm of Amilia's Light, attended. Their reactions also varied, but overall, they shared the same tone of sadness and shock that most people feel regarding human trafficking.
“The feeling that a human being who has rights can be subjected to this kind of thing is just… completely unrelatable to my own life,” was how one student reacted.
“In one part of the movie, there was a guy who started kidnapping and selling girls at fourteen. He laughed when he talked about how he used to starve them and beat them. I felt sick watching that part,” was another student's comment.
Human trafficking is a horrible crime that often is not met with punishment. Amilia's Light is working to end the cycle each and every day. As a very famous and peaceful leader, Mahatma Gandhi, once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As cliché as that might sound, you have the power to change your destiny and the destiny of others.
- Jane O’Donnell, A5
Jane O’Donnell is a freshman at Medfield High School and a member of A5, Amilia’s Angels, Ambassadors for Anti-Trafficking Awareness. You can read more about the film and how Medfield High School Students are raising awareness to end human trafficking at www.amiliaslight.org/ambassadors.
If you want to be a part of the change, contact Michelle Luhrmann at email@example.com. For information on how you can help empower a survivor or learn more about sex trafficking, visit www.amiliaslight.org.