An estimated 27 million people are enslaved around the world today, which is more than any other time in history.
33% of all runaways will be sexually exploited within 48 hours.
80% of victims are female.
One of the many perks of interning at UT’s Office of Communications and Marketing is the opportunity to promote and learn about a wide variety of campus events.
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending the inaugural Human Trafficking on Rocky Top event at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy. After writing the event press release at my internship and reading up on the prevalence of human trafficking in East Tennessee, I was eager to attend the lecture.
It did not disappoint.
Three local experts spoke about human trafficking:
- Kate Trudell, executive director of the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking
- Special Agent Cynthia Deitle of the FBI
- Jonathan Scoonover, CCAHT board president and Equitas Group program officer
Deitle talked about her experiences with modern-day slavery working in law enforcement.
Scoonover listed his three levels of countertrafficking. He challenged the audience to learn about human trafficking overseas, demand products to be made without slave labor, and open your eyes locally to help stop the vicious cycle.
I will expand on Scoonover’s three ideas in part two of this blog, because his section of the lecture emphasized ways to end human trafficking in East Tennessee and beyond.
Stay tuned for part two, and please visit ccaht.org for a wealth of information on this important issue.