SMSG13 is Social Media for Social Good 2013. This is our fourth year, and the target is to stop human trafficking. A lot of these facts are alarming. And I have to let you know if you research statistics – even your state, it might trigger trauma. But I think that’s why this is so important. Some of the things I read made me a bit queasy.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex, debt bondage, or forced labor. They are young children, teenagers, men and women. Trafficking in persons occurs throughout the world, including in the United States.
- There is a total estimate of 29.8 million people in modern slavery.
- Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
- 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. More than 70% are female and half are children. – U.S. State Department
- 1.2 million children are trafficked each year – UNICEF
- An estimated 26% of all forced labor victims are children. This means there are 5.5 million child victims at any given point in time. It is also estimated that children make up 21% of forced sexually exploited labor in the private economy. – The International Labour Organisation
- People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries, affecting every continent and every type of economy
- Estimated global annual profits made from the exploitation of all trafficked forced labour are $31.6 billion USD
- In 2006 for every 800 people trafficked, only one person was convicted.
- Only 0.4% of victims are identified.
- Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.
- An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect. Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, and some are as young as six years old.
- According to a 2009 Washington Times article, the Taliban buys children as young as seven years old to act as suicide bombers. The price for child suicide bombers is between $7,000-$14,000
- Human trafficking occurs in all fifty states in the U.S. (You can check your state “grade” which might be alarming.) The FBI estimates that over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from nine to 19, with the average being age 11. Many victims are not just runaways or abandoned, but are from “good” families who are coerced by clever traffickers.
- After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world.
- In the European Union alone, about 880,000 people are in forced labour, according to ILO estimates. That’s 1.8 in every 1,000 persons.
- Human trafficking is a $9.8 billion domestic industry, with at least 100,000 children being used as prostitutes in America each year.
- Two children are sold every minute.
And a testimonial of sorts:
They forced me to sleep with as many as 50 customers a day. I had to give [the pimp] all my money. If I did not [earn a set amount] they punished me by removing my clothes and beating me with a stick until I fainted, electrocuting me, cutting me.
–Kolab, sex trafficking survivor from Cambodia
The charity I settled on is Love 146. I’m still debating on how – let me know if you have an opinion re: paypal or me setting up a Crowdrise campaign. (It may also depend on the handling fees of either.) I really like that Love 146 acts to prevent, but also provides aftercare.
I’m pledging $1 per comment for the first day, maybe the first week. (I have to max out at $600. I’m hoping we hit 600 comments before the first week is over. Either way, it doesn’t matter. I’m all in.) I definitely don’t expect everyone to make large donations. Any amount is helpful. $10, $5, $1. 50¢. Whatever you can give. Or if not, hit up your rich friends to donate. Parents, relatives. Have them comment because here’s the kicker with SMSG – even a comment on this blog post helps raise money. Amazing!
Initial pledgers are:
Shiloh Walker will donate $50, and if we hit 100 comments on the charity drive post, another $50, for a total of $100.
SpazP will donate $50
c² has pledged $100 once we reach 500 comments
Remember – every comment helps. As part of this being a fundraiser it’s also a comment drive. We want to raise awareness and spread the word. Together we can make a difference. <3
*ETA: The fundraising page is now live: