by Maria Jose Manzano, WYA HQ Intern from Mexico
“Trafficking of children is a grave violation of their rights, robbing them of their childhood, their well-being, and the opportunity to reach their full potential. No country is untouched by human trafficking as a source, transit point, or destination.”
– Dr. Susan Bissell Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF
Yesterday, interns and staff members from the WYA Headquarters visited NYU Law School to attend a film screening and panel discussion on the documentary titled “Not My Life”, co-sponsored by the US Fund for UNICEF and the Anti-Trafficking Advocacy Coalition.
Throughout the event we had the opportunity to reflect upon the consequences of trafficking, including exploitation and gender based violence, and to recognize that human trafficking is in fact a form of modern slavery that impacts an unfathomable number of children and young women all over the world, including the 50 states of the US.
At the core of the problem that allows the phenomena of human trafficking to persist generation after generation is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be human. This is reflected in the disregard for the lives of the victims, and the tendency to over-look the intrinsic inalienable dignity we all share. This dignity automatically renders every person responsible for treating others as equal and worthy of respect.
In order to end the widespread and complex issue of human trafficking, greater efforts from governments, civil society, businesses, faith-based communities, educators and families is necessary. We can start by raising awareness and taking responsibility to end the DEMAND for human trafficking, by simple choices like:
a) Switching our consumption parameters and choosing fair trade certified goods, which are produced without slave or child labor;
b) Changing attitudes and raising awareness in our social circles and bring the topic into conversation with friends, by speaking about healthy relationships and the experience of love and rejecting attitudes that objectify persons.
We are committed to fostering through diverse activities and efforts the awareness and engagement of youth around the globe to affirm human dignity in every level in society. For this reason, the World Youth Alliance is hosting a special screening of “It’s a Girl” – a documentary film on gendercide and violence against women to highlight sex-selective abortion as an egregious form of violence against women and girls. You are invited to attend!
For more information to take action to end human trafficking, click here.
Screening of “It’s a Girl” information:
Monday March 04, 2013, 6:15 PM. Church Center for the UN, Drew Room, Ground Floor (777 United Nations Plaza, New York). To RSVP email firstname.lastname@example.org