National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Taking Initiative Toward Global Awareness

By Jenifer Riddle, Second Life volunteer

The United States military has invested significant resources into developing night vision technology under the theory “own the night, own the fight”. Confidently moving and fighting in the darkness allows our troops a significant advantage on the battlefield. Unfortunately, there is an enemy efficiently working under the shadows of ignorance to trade in human lives.

In 2007 the United States Senate designated January 11th as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, with the United Nations quickly backing the US initiative and beginning work toward global awareness. Since then both organizations have made progress with increasing awareness, passing new laws to protect the vulnerable and successful prosecution of the guilty.

The first step in fighting human trafficking is to understand it: what it is, how it works, what it looks like, and how to report a tip. The next step is raising awareness in others and enlisting them in the battle. Along the way there are endless opportunities to partner with local organizations, participate in grassroots efforts, and raise funds to provide for the ongoing efforts against human trafficking.

One such event is the recent 3rd annual “Unite. Wear White” event presented by The Chattanooga Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Second Life of Chattanooga and Richmont Graduate University.”Unite. Wear White” is the local expression of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The event is designed to educate, inspire and mobilize organizations and individuals to work together against human trafficking in Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Numerous organizations and agencies from the non-profit, social service, law enforcement, educational, business and faith communities, as well as many concerned individuals attended this year’s event. The keynote speaker, Ed Stanton, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, challenged the audience to continue to build on the great collaborative effort underway in Chattanooga regarding this crime. In addition, those in attendance heard a portion of a local survivor’s story, which highlighted the value and need of the community to be unified in its work to end this crime in our area.

There is something to be done about Human Trafficking. You can take a stand.

Create awareness. Drive action. End Human Sex Trafficking.

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