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Inside of Human Trafficking Awareness Week: IJM makes the Eastern community aware of the issue of Human Trafficking and how we can get involved.

      During the week of January 28, Eastern’s International Justice Mission (IJM) chapter hosted a Human Trafficking Awareness Week. According to Homeland security, Human Trafficking is defined as “modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.”

      Those trafficked into the United States is in the millions every year. This industry, fueled by human suffering, also makes profit margins into the billions and is only second to that of drug trafficking. The target of this crime spreads across all demographics. It hits all genders and age groups not just young children and women.

      The International Justice Mission’s purpose is to spread an understanding of this issue and how people can combat it in America. During the week, IJM hosted several events. On Monday, they held a meeting allowing students to gain more information on the problem of human trafficking and its many facets in America.

      There was supposed to be a training session presented by Delaware County Anti-Trafficking Coalition, however, due to inclimate weather that night, the event was postponed. IJM has not yet released a new date for the event. The hope is that later this semester the training will be rescheduled.

      On Wednesday night, IJM also made a special appearance at Wednesday Night Worship where two members of the club spoke several encouraging verses over everyone and also spoke a bit on the purpose of IJM. On Thursday, IJM held a letter writing campaign event. IJM had a table stationed in the Jammin Java which had information on which large companies help contribute to the problem of human trafficking.

      Many of these companies are quite large and well known. The companies on the list are guilty of sex exploitation and feeding into the business of human trafficking. Companies such as Snapchat, Amazon, Stream and Youtube have contributed to the spread of human trafficking in varying degrees across the world.

      Present at the event was co-leader Caroline Campbell who shared her personal story and the message of IJM. Campbell shared how she personally first heard and became concerned about human trafficking.

      “I knew that human trafficking was going on internationally, from missions works. I did not realize it was such a problem in the United States until my senior year of high school” Campbell said.

      Her personal story shows that it is never too late to learn about a cause and start investing in it. Campbell also explained the transition from Students Against Human Trafficking (SAHT) to IJM. The transition to IJM means that Eastern’s IJM chapter is now part of a network of different chapters from UC Berkeley to New York University.

      There are two important messages and take-aways that IJM wants Eastern students to know,“The biggest thing is modern slavery exists, that women, children and men are still being used for sex work and labour. IJM tries to use education, and field offices located in Asia and Africa. Companies still expolit people everyday, and we want Eastern students to be aware of this problem.”

      If this message speaks to you, IJM meets Tuesdays at 6:30pm in the KAGE. They are currently doing a series focusing on cultures from different field offices across the world. IJM also welcomes any questions you may have and can be reached at ijm@eastern.edu.

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