Watching this TED Talk discussion about slavery in America was like taking a punch in the stomach. Human/Sex-trafficking and slavery are alive and rampant - in our own backyards. In this video, Tony Talbott candidly talks about his feelings after his first real encounter with human slavery. It was during the Gulf War. At the age of 23, Talbott and his buddies decided to visit a bar in the Philippines called, Sweet Sixteen. He came to find out find the bar/brothel was given that name, not only because there were 16-year olds, but because there were no girls dancing or 'working' over the age of 16. Let me rephrase; The oldest prostitute was 16 years old. Yes, I had to let that roll around in my brain for a bit. This TED Talk took place in Cincinnati, April 2013. Talbott goes into detail as to where slavery is most prevalent in the U.S., and ironically, Dayton, Ohio has been reported to having the highest amount of human trafficking. Why does this industry continue to thrive?
"It's all about the money. Human trafficking is insanely profitable. If you really think about it, you can sell a kilo of Heroin once; you can sell a 13-year-old girl 20 times a night, 365 days a year. And you should feel a little outraged about this. You should feel upset about this. And that's great - but it's not good enough." ~ Tony Talbott
Toward the end of his discussion, Talbot encourages us to take action, and he lists a number of ways. What continues to haunt me about this TED talk is realizing this goes on all around us and we are not aware. I can no longer pass by a truck stop, without wondering if young girls/boys,have been, or are, offered and sold there. Slavery was legally abolished in America over a century ago. Illegally, it still exists, and is a fact and way of life for some human beings.YouTube Video
KEY STATISTICS In 2013, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, operated by Polaris, received reports of 3,609 sex trafficking cases inside the United States. Find more hotline statistics here. *In 2013, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 7 endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims. *Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally. WHAT YOU CAN DO: *Learn to Recognize the Signs of human trafficking in your community. *Call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 if you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking. All reports are confidential and you may remain anonymous. Interpreters are available. Call Specialists are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking. *Send a text to BeFree (233733) if you need help. *Visit our Action Center to find opportunities to tell your elected officials to take action against sex trafficking.
Special Thanks to TED Talks.
Sign HERE: Tell U.S. law enforcement to crack down on $150 billion human trafficking epidemic