In celebration of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, people across the world are bringing attention to the issue in their own way.
An estimated 27 million slaves exist in the world today. Reportedly, three out of four of them are women. This year, 800,000 people will reportedly be sex-trafficked; 80 percent of them will be female and 50 percent will be children.
Today marks the 5th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day across the globe. People of the U.S. and African honored this special day through their efforts.
In Boston, close to 125 people all joined in a silent prayer vigil and public witness last Sunday. This event was held at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Brighton. Local Catholic Sisters in the Boston area planned and joined in the gathering. For the 3rd straight year in Boston, local residents grouped up to raise awareness and pray for an end to human trafficking.
Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians reportedly passed by a group standing in silence and holding dozens of signs. One sign proclaiming the day’s theme in simple words: "Stop Human Trafficking."
Meanwhile in Africa, 46 women from all over the world climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya this week. These women, known as the Freedom Climbers, united together to be a voice for the voiceless.
This climb was also an initiative of Operation Mobilization. The 46 women are not professional climbers, however. They participated in this climb since some of them were victims of sex trafficking and other human injustices.
This mountain climb was also done to raise awareness of global injustices against women and children. It is symbolic of the climb victims’ face in the struggle for freedom in the face of adversity.
The financial efforts raised from the climbing effort will go to aiding 10,000 women and children worldwide. These funds will provide women and children with rescue and rehabilitation through skills training, micro-business, and education.
"I talk to friends here in the States, and they say, ‘What can we do with such a huge problem?’" said Cathey Anderson, leader of The Freedom Climb. "I tell them, ‘We can all make a difference for one woman or child at a time! We can see freedom for them!’"
"Freedom for one woman will not only change her future but all the generations after her!," Anderson added. "We know we will not end slavery and human trafficking with this climb. We can, however, bring hope and an opportunity for freedom to women and children who currently have none."
This climbing effort isn’t the only move being done near Mt. Kilimanjaro. A prayer team will be at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro throughout the climb, not only praying for the safety and protection of the women climbers, but also for the various projects around the Operation Mobilization world that are aiding vulnerable women and children.
These efforts towards Human Trafficking Awareness Day should bring more attention to this human injustice.