Today marks the World Day Against Human Trafficking.
There’s a designated day for just about everything: mixed in with International Women’s Day and the World Day Against Child Labor are World Donut Day and International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Something about the various ceremonial days doesn’t sit quite right with me. I fear that straight after Earth Hour or the World Day of Social Justice we just slip back into our normal routine. The events and workshops and social media splashes make us feel good, but has anything changed?
The opposing argument is that these days do create increased awareness and may inspire people into action. I agree with that, and so I too acknowledge some of these days, and Blue Dragon does participate in ceremonial events on occasion.
Ultimately, we have to move beyond awareness raising – and soon. Making people aware that there’s a problem is barely the beginning of a solution. Awareness raising is simply no help to the millions of people who are in slavery right now around the world; they need concrete action aimed at being set free and their exploiters being caught and punished.
What’s needed is law reform, and the training of officials to implement the law thoroughly.
What’s needed is the rescue and safe return of people who are in slavery.
What’s needed is an holistic approach to community development, allowing all children to complete schooling while adults can find safe and meaningful work, with adequate safety nets to help people who fall into hard times.
And what’s needed is humanity. People who are vulnerable to trafficking, or are victims of trafficking, or have survived trafficking, need to be treated with care and love as human beings; not as data points in programs and studies.
That human trafficking and slavery exist at all are signs that our world is broken. What’s needed is a global movement to make things right, growing outward from every community, village and town.
It won’t be a single ceremonial day that fixes our world, but if we truly care we can make today the start of real and lasting change.
It’s up to us.
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation rescues kids in crisis.