Freedom: Raising Awareness About Human Trafficking

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Warning: what you are about to read will either make your skin crawl or your eyebrows rise to impossible heights in disbelief. Here it is: slavery—the forcing of one or more humans by another for the purposes of forced labor, bonded labor, or forced prostitution—and human trafficking are alive and well in the world today. They really are. According to a report by the U.S. Department of State, there were over 12 million people in slavery in 2010 across the globe, two million of them being children. Shockingly, it is estimated by the DNA Foundation that every 10 minutes, a woman or child is trafficked into the United States for forced labor.  This is a real problem, one of the basest kind, because it entails the stripping away of even the most basic human rights, because it is one which so many governments are still not yet fully fighting, because it is one which so many people are unaware of, and because it is so widespread.

Think of a world where it no longer existed, though, where those 12 million people were free to live, grow, and work for themselves. Think about how good it might feel to contribute to that kind of future. The DNA Foundation, started by celebrities Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher to raise awareness about child sex slavery, change the cultural stereotypes that facilitate this horrific problem, and rehabilitate innocent victims, strives for that future. Most recently, those efforts have been centered on an interactive online campaign called "Real Men Don't Buy Girls." This campaign invites everyone to view and make "Real Men" videos with stars such as Jason Mraz and Jamie Foxx, and share it with their friends. A press release from a DNA Foundation representative states: "Consumers will play a critical role in spreading the word about the campaign by creating their own personalized video and sharing it with friends."

Supporters are invited to go to the DNA Foundation Facebook page and click on the “Real Men” application tab. The application will allow guests to insert their own photo into the celebrity video in order to create their very own “Real Men” video. After the video is created, they can share it with their friends by posting on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The goal is for as many people as possible to watch the videos, create a personalized video, and spread the word about child sex slavery. All videos can be viewed at

The fact that there is still a need for such a campaign is appalling. But yet, even some of us at Mom It Forward have seen it first-hand (see this post). Jyl herself can attest to some of its horrific effects. When you really think about it, after your skin stops crawling and your eyebrows return to their normal level, you might be a little overwhelmed by the need for help. Keep in mind, however, that we bring you this information because it fits with our mission of changing the world one mom at a time, one small action at a time. All of these efforts will add up over time.

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