|A child sold here in the United States|
Next weekend is Super Bowl weekend, and while on the surface, and for most of us, it is a great occasion for celebrating and for friends to get together to watch the game, enjoy the commercials, good food, etc. there is a shadow that darkens all of this and it is a side of humanity that not many of us ever see. I have always known that prostitution existed but in looking back over the years I recognize now that I was and am still filled with prejudices and naivety about the women and young men who practice the trade of prostitution. The one thing that has come home to me at this late date is that the women and men who practice prostitution do not do it out of choice. And we, even if we know that it goes on more often than not, ignore the situation claiming, "It is someone else's problem; what can I do?" There is a statistic that claims that before and during the 2010 Super Bowl 10,000 women and girls were trafficked to Miami for the Super Bowl. While that figure may be inflated it is completely true that trafficking of human beings, whether boys, girls, women or young men, is very real and because this form of life lives in the shadows most of us never come face to face with it. There is no doubt that this is one of the, if not the, ugliest side of the human family, and I am not referring to the prostitutes themselves who are the victims but the perpetrators who use the prostitutes for sex slave in order to feed their disordered appetites.
Human trafficing is much more complex than mere prostitution. It is at its very worst slavery when children and young girls are bought and sold for slave labor. These children are vulnerable because of family situations, war, famine, and just plain greed.
In conclusion I would like to suggest two films, the first one is a documentary and the second is a film based on a true story: (1) Half the Sky: Turning Opression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, and (2) The Whistleblower. Let us hope that we will do our best to edcuate ourselves about human trafficking and report suspicious activity in your neighborhood, universities, offices and sports teams. We can also listen attentively to our young people and to the values they speak of and live by.