By Morgan Lubner
Project Stay Gold hosted an event discussing the horrors of human trafficking and measures that can be taken to put an end to the crisis. Held in the Travers/Wolfe Lounge on Sunday, Sept. 27, the club began the presentation with a YouTube video highlighting the startling facts surrounding human trafficking and slavery.
Some highlights included that there are between 20 and 30 million slaves in the world right now, fifty percent of the slaves in the world today are children and human trafficking is the third largest international crime.
The facts came as a shock to many students in attendance, as it is a common thought that slavery was eliminated years ago. However, that could not be further from the truth, as detailed in the presentation.
An eye-opening fact revealed was that there are more slaves in the world today than ever before.
Different club members stood up and gave explanations describing the different facets of trafficking and slavery. One mentioned how children as young as seven years old are being used as suicide bombers for the Taliban.
Reading a fact about modern day slavery, junior elementary education major Lauren Monaco humbled the crowd.
“Two children are sold off into slavery every minute,” Monaco said. “So as long as we’ve been talking here, more than 40 children have been sold as slaves.”
Students went on to talk about how companies frequently used throughout America are guilty of utilizing forced labor or having their employees work in bad conditions — all of which are forms of slavery. Some of the companies named were Barbie, Fruit of the Loom and Walmart.
Domestic slavery was brought up next, and the members explained how it is one of the hardest forms of slavery to recognize. The slaves can be concealed by titles such as “nanny” or “housekeeper,” often deceiving the outside world and making the situation seem perfectly normal. However, the slaves are usually not paid fairly or at all, making their “work” illegal. They’re also often threatened by their “employer” with deportation, since most are from out of the country.
The presentation highlighted that susceptible areas for human trafficking to occur include urban areas, train stations, airports and malls.
Started by junior interactive multimedia and communication studies double major Matthew Newman during his freshman year at the College, Project Stay Gold is focused on the different types of modern-day slavery and human trafficking and what measures can be taken to recognize and put an end to the issue.