Human Trafficking on Rocky Top: Part II

Tonight’s blog post represents a milestone in my little space on the world wide web. It’s the final post required for my social media blogging assignment, but never fear: I hope to keep writing. I have grown to enjoy posting on Dudrick Social and slowly shed most of the insecurities of publishing my observations for the world to read (or not to read).

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Image via majorityleader.gov

Back to the issue at hand. Human Trafficking on Rocky Top: Part II dives more into Jonathan Scoonover’s three levels of counter-trafficking. You may want to read my previous post for some context, which can be found here.

  • Demand products that are made without slave labor. This one, to me, is the hardest. Scoonover asked the audience to support businesses with ethical labor practices. That means we should scrutinize the coffee we drink, the clothes we wear, the technology we use each day. Where was this product assembled? Did the worker receive adequate compensation? Slavery Footprint is an excellent resource on this difficult counter-trafficking measure.
  • Open your eyes locally. Every person in all fields of expertise can help combat human trafficking. As a public relations major, I can use my communication skills as a blogger and social media user to spread the word. Regardless or your major or career, you can pay attention to your surroundings and report suspicious behavior to help a victim of human trafficking.

Reading about human trafficking is not pleasant. It’s not easy or fun, especially if you are like me and already constantly consume the news, which seems to be getting harder to read each day. However, I hope this post can inspire readers to pay attention to the very real impact of human trafficking on our community.

Learn, demand slavery-free products, and–most importantly–open your eyes.

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Human Trafficking on Rocky Top: Part I

 

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:

Trudell explained the definition of human trafficking and broke down some disturbing statistics on the issue–locally, nationally, and globally.

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.