I had watched an inspiring video by Michelle Phan on YouTube about girls and human trafficking called “Remember The Girl.” She told a story about a girl that was put through this horrible experience, having her innocence taken from her day in and day out. This girl was given the number 146 in place of her name. A number instead of a name. How cruel and dehumanizing. She and the other girls were bought by men through a glass window — a window with the girls on one side and the men on the other. Many girls lose their hope after some time, but not 146. She was not about to give up on her hope to be free. She faced every day with this attitude and hoped for the freedom she longed for even though she knew it might never happen.
Human trafficking still exists today, whether we acknowledge it or not. But is it something we should worry and be concerned about? Most definitely. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, every country is and will be affected by this in one way or another. According to The Covering House, 300,000 children are at risk of going through this same experience, and one in three teens will be lured into this within 48 hours of leaving home. Also, according to Teens on Trafficking, every year 800,000 people are moved across international borders for human trafficking. Before I spit more statistics and facts at you, let me explain what human trafficking is.
According to the State of California’s Department of Justice, the federal definition of human trafficking is “A modern form of slavery [that] involves controlling a person through force, fraud, or coercion to exploit the victim for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both. This idea of slavery and forced bondage is so terrible, and entrenched in our ideas of the past. It couldn’t possible be happening now, right? Wrong. It is a crime happening now to people of all genders and ages, all over the world. According to the State of California Department of Justice, the United States estimates that between 14,000 to just over 17,000 people are forced into this in the United States alone. This number, in my opinion, should be ZERO across the world for every country. In “Remember The Girl,” Michelle talks about the will to not give up like the girl with the number 146 had. She states that the girl is inside every one of us. Even if you are a boy, there is still the boy who has that will to not give up. Then, she talked about an organization that came out of the story of this girl’s experience with a trafficking ring. This organization is called LOVE146.
LOVE146 is one of the organizations out there that helps those who have suffered from human trafficking, helping them to stabilize themselves and to get back on their feet to start over with a new life. They have come across many stories and have proven that the common myth — which says that all victims are kidnapped and held under lock and key — is false. According to LOVE146, while some can still be kidnapped and kept under lock and key, many children are rather given false promises and job offers. This is to trick those children who are out there on their own or that person who wants to get out of the country. What about the other myths that say that females or children are the only ones trafficked for sex? That is also false, according to LOVE146. Four times the amount of children trafficked for sex are trafficked for labor, and there are men and boys that are also used for sex. How people can be so cruel and disgusting, I will never understand.
Human trafficking should be eliminated from this world, even if it takes one step at a time. Let me explain the hand picture shown above with the heart and number. It is the selfie photo that Michelle asks for in her video. The number 146 and the heart are in remembrance of that girl’s story, and the hand is to show support for those that we don’t know that are forced into this. At least, that is how I think of it. I hope you now know a little bit more about this huge issue. I trust that you, the reader, will spread the word about this horrible crime to others and make a difference by sharing it with someone who may not yet know about it. If you would like, watch Michelle’s video, which is linked above, and spread that video around about that story. It would mean a lot to the cause. Remember 146, and don’t give up. Lend a hand by standing up and speaking out against human trafficking.