I watched Atlanta’s 57, a local Christian television station host Tajuan McCarty, Executive Director, of the Well House Inc., located in Birmingham, Alabama. She shared the problem of human trafficking, which is so prevalent in our city and nation. Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery.
Approximately 20,000 children are trafficked, annually. The average age is 12-14 years old. These children leave home for a number of reasons, but usually for bad situations, including violence or sexual abuse. It is an incorrect assumption to believe that these children “choose” the lifestyle, but instead quickly become prey to the predators looking to profit by selling them. Attention and help is being brought to this problem through many avenues, such as film, community awareness, and shelters.
The Freedom Project: Ending Modern Day Slavery, began when CNN’s Christine Caine, traveled through Greece. She noticed a number of homemade posters of missing children. How could so many children be missing she wondered, until she was “clued in, ” that the children were not in fact missing, but had become victims of human trafficking.
On June 26, 2011, at 8 pm, Demi Moore, special contributor to CNN’s Freedom Project, will host a documentary to “shine a light,” on the shocking trade of human life. Moore is an outspoken activist in the fight, along with DNA, the foundation, she and husband, Ashton Kutcher, co founded. They have since rescued 12,000 stolen Nepali children from sex trafficking.
The Covenant House, a nationwide organization, has a location here in the Atlanta area to offer shelter and help to homeless children. Their outreach van runs “five nights a week to some of the most distressed neighborhoods in Atlanta, seeking out sexually exploited youth, drug dealers, and gang members in the hopes of saving a life.” 1,880 youth are served annually, with programs and services, including immediate sanctuary, crisis center, GED classes, vocational training, etc.
The Candy Shop is a fairy tale film produced in the Atlanta area. “We are using the film to not only raise awareness but provoke meaningful action towards this issue taking place in our own backyard.” A trailer of the film can be viewed at http://stopthecandyshop.com/the-film . According to a Kelly Murray, The Candy Shop was filmed in the summer of 2010 in Atlanta. The campaign is known as, “Stop the Candy Shop.
The Bible says, “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalms 82:3,4 (KJV) Bringing this problem to light, throughawareness and offering shelter and resources to the victims helps to do just that. Additionally, on May 1, 2011, a billboard project brought awareness to human trafficking.
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