Keep waging war on human trafficking

LaceyApril 21, 2013 

President Abraham Lincoln stated that, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Slavery is a part of society’s history which needs to stay in the past. Human trafficking is a global issue that exploits the vulnerable and disadvantaged population by having control over them. These individuals are used for sexual exploitation, forced labor or other forms of servitude to repay their debt after being illegally transported to the United States.

Washington state is one of the numbers of states that is fighting to combat this global problem. The state has developed and enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking. On Feb. 12, the U.S. Senate voted to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) through 2017. Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., voted yes. This is the right step to protect victims of human trafficking and prosecute human traffickers. Reauthorization of the act is an important tool in the fight against human trafficking. It also provides a step toward ending this unjust violation of human rights. We all need to be aware of human trafficking and also need to support organizations such as Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN) that provides to victims resources such as crisis intervention, counseling and emotional support. For generations to come, I am asking that we continue to fight this global issue and be aware of what is happening in our communities. Slavery is an act of the past and that’s where it needs to stay.

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