There are days where friends send me cute notes about holidays held today. National Taco Day. National Talks Like a Pirate Day. National Finger Snapping Day. Why so many holidays, they say, don't we have better things to do?
Sure, there are a lot of them, but most of them signify something - even the silly ones. But today, January 11, is not a silly holiday. For an unfortunately large group of people, today is a reminder of how far still have to go.
When people think of Human Trafficking, most tend to think of 3rd world countries and slavery. They don't think about how close at heart Human Slavery is to us today.
Today in Chicago, a man was found guilty of trafficking 4.
A Chicago man pleaded guilty today to sex-trafficking two juveniles and two adults by force, according to federal officials.Human trafficking, unfortunately isn't so far away from us.
Carl Brandon Smith, who is 25 and also known as “Moo,’’ pleaded guilty to transporting a minor from Wisconsin to Illinois for prostitution and also admitted that he engaged in forced sex-trafficking of the victim, as well as an additional minor and two young adult women, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Between 2010 and early 2012, Smith forced his victims to engage in commercial sex acts, used physical violence and threatened to kill them if they ever left him, the statement read.
According to the International Justice Mission, more than 27 Million Men, Women, and Children are held in servitude for sexual performance. Some have the traditional sex-trade and human trafficking jobs we think of, dingy, terrible conditions in a house of ill repute somewhere in the world.
That's how we'd like to think of Human Trafficking. But the real face of human trafficking today is far more complex. The trafficking in the US takes multiple faces.
Sex trafficking is a big part of it.. but trafficking in forced labor, general indentured servitude is also on the rise.
The 31-year-old housekeeper from Africa was held captive in Detroit by a Middle Eastern family she says made her work for free, verbally abused her, refused to get her medical help and once threatened to kill her mother.Denied food and good sleeping, she was held captive. Oh well, it's the exception, right? Human trafficking makes up a $32 BILLION dollar industry according to the US Department of Justice.
Nade said she was 26 when a friend told her about a cleaning job in the Middle East. Poor and desperate for work, she applied through an agency and got the job with monthly wages of $150. Against the wishes of her parents and husband, she accepted the position.
"I don't have any job in my country. My family — we don't have any salary to stay in my country," Nade said. "I have to help them."
In late 2007, Nade packed her suitcase — with clothes, some food and a photograph of her parents and husband — and headed for a country in the Middle East.
For 22 months, she lived in a constant state of fear and isolation in a building with many families. She slept in a bathroom and was never allowed to leave the home.
She said her life consisted of cleaning walls, carpets, cooking, washing dishes and caring for children. She rarely slept or ate.
One source of comfort came from talking to other African servants who conversed from the balconies or hung their heads out windows for brief chats. She was allowed to call her parents once a month.
She said she was verbally abused. The woman of the house told her she wasn't smart and didn't have a mind of her own.
Outside of Drugs, Human Trafficking is the fastest growing, most profitable industry.
More from USA Today:
"Sadly, prosecutions nationwide of domestic servitude cases are rare," said Bridgette Carr, director of the Human Trafficking Clinic. "I am not sure why at the end of the day these traffickers were not arrested before they left the United States."Need a nanny you can also force into sex? Farm her in from overseas.
ICE, which handles international trafficking cases, was unaware of Nade's case.
Willing to 'adopt' a child from Haiti, China, Africa as a slave? It's unfortunately all too easy.
There are lots of holidays we seem to forget. For the 27 Million Men, Women and Children who are held today as slaves, I hope we can spend a little time today thinking about the steps we can take to help improve the world we live in.