On March 8, 2012, I attended a meeting of the Farmington Exchange Club and listened to a presentation from Steve Ferraro and Karen Herbert from “Not For Sale” about the present day trafficking and exploitation of children for the sex trade here in Connecticut—yes, you read that correctly, Connecticut. Steve and Karen are the Co-State Directors of Not For Sale and opened the eyes of many people with their presentation.
Not For Sale addresses all human slavery and trafficking worldwide, but what most people do not understand is that the evils of human trafficking occur right under our noses here in Connecticut. Steve and Karen described individual stories and the difficulty in capturing or even identifying the shadowy perpetrators of these crimes. Our Exchange Club members had many questions and wanted to know what anyone can do to help prevent this practice. The answers were disappointing and frustrating because there are no easy solutions. Only through incredible community vigilance and the attention of caring people willing to reach out and look for potential victims can the problem be addressed with any measure of success.
Please visit Not For Sale’s website at: http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/, to learn more about the important work of this organization.
There is also an organization closely aligned with Not For Sale and it is “Truckers Against Trafficking.” As you can imagine, truck drivers find themselves in places where the victims of human trafficking are being moved and exploited. Educating truck drivers to identify the red flags that point to victims and getting them to call for help is the goal of this organization. It can be found at: www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com
It is far too easy to ignore or deny the existence of this variety of human suffering. The knowledge, however, that there are victims among us and that they cry silently for our help begs for our full attention and awareness.
We all owe thanks to Ed Cruess, our Exchange Club President, for bringing these excellent speakers to our meeting and placing this issue in the forefront. There is no subject that could be nearer and dearer to the values of the Exchange Club than preventing the abuse that is Human Trafficking.