In 2011, President Obama proclaimed January 2012 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:

"With the start of each year, we commemorate the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and submitted to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865.

These documents stand as testaments to the gains we have made in pursuit of freedom and justice for all, and they remind us of the work that remains to be done. This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, and in cooperation with our partners around the world, we can work to end this terrible injustice and protect the rights to life and liberty entrusted to us by our forebears and owed to our children."

Quick Facts:

  • There are an estimated 20-30 million people enslaved today (believed to be more than at any point in human history). People forced to work without pay, under threat of violence and unable to walk away.
  • Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry; $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
  • Between 14,500-17,500 people are trafficked in the USA each year, according to a US State Dept. report.


Recommended Reading

A Crime So MonstrousA Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery by E. Benjamin Skinner (2008)
As Samantha Power and Philip Gourevitch did for genocide, Skinner has done for modern-day slavery. With years of reporting in such places as Haiti, Sudan, India, Eastern Europe, The Netherlands, and, yes, even suburban America, he has produced a vivid testament and moving reportage on one of the great evils of our time.Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazer (2005)
A shocking true story of contemporary slavery: a young girl, snatched from her tribal village in Africa, survives enslavement in Sudan and London before making a courageous escape to freedom.

Sold by Patricia McCormick (2006)
Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders the world of Lakshmi, a 13-year-old Nepalese girl sold into prostitution in India - a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs. Although written for teenage readers, Sold is one of those books that can and should cross-over into the adult market.

All Woman and Springtime: A Novel by Brandon W. Jones (May 2012)
This spellbinding debut, reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha, depicts life behind North Korea's iron curtain. But for Gi and Il-sun, forced into the underworld of human trafficking, their captivity outside North Korea is far crueler than the tight control of their "Dear Leader."

Little Princes : One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Connor Grennan (2011)
A true story of families and children, and what one person is capable of when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. At turns tragic, joyful, and hilarious, Little Princes is a testament to the power of faith and the ability of love to carry us beyond our wildest expectations.

Somebody's Daughter: The Hidden Story of America's Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them by Julian Sher (2011)
They are America's forgotten children, the hundreds of thousands of child prostitutes who walk the Las Vegas Strip, the casinos of Atlantic City, the truck stops on interstates, and the street corners of our cities. Many people wrongly believe sex trafficking involves young women from foreign lands. In reality, the majority of teens caught in the sex trade are American girls--runaways and throwaways who become victims of ruthless pimps.

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
Discuss on Facebook
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby