This term, students in Years 10 to 13 of the English Secondary Section were captivated by a seminar given by Youth Underground, a Geneva-based charitable organisation whose mission is to prevent human trafficking through awareness-raising, education and advocacy.
Students listened to Rasha Hammad, CEO and founder of Youth Underground, as she explained about the horrors of human trafficking. They also watched a video that included reports from the victims and the perpetrators of this terrible crime.
Human trafficking involves:
- Severe human rights violations against victims of all ages;
- The second largest criminal trade in the world, after arms dealing and ahead of drug-dealing, generating over $150 billion profits per year;
- Forty million people being trafficked in 2016 alone.
Human trafficking is not limited to less economically developed countries or places far away. In the EU, there has been a 600% increase in sex trafficking of migrants over the last three years. Human trafficking happens everywhere, including here in Geneva. The USA is the human trafficking hub of the world and Atlanta, in Georgia, is where most human beings are being trafficked for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour. Due to the clandestine nature of this crime, catching traffickers is very hard – and bringing them to justice even harder. The numbers are shocking and this form of modern day slavery concerns:
- 20’000+ minors who disappeared in Europe alone over the last 2 years;
- 65,6 million people displaced in the world today, with 76% of migrants & refugees in the Mediterranean region report encounters with traffickers.
After the seminar, I asked the students about their reactions. Here are a few of their answers:
What would your message be to human traffickers?
- I would tell them to find a real job instead of stealing humanity away from others.
- That they are revolting and should be stopped forever.
- You are heartless, horrible people with no morals.
- I would tell them they are stain on humanity and should be punished more severely.
What can and should be done to end human trafficking?
- People who are involved in trafficking should be punished far more severely and any income associated with such an illegal activity should be removed permanently.
- More information should be spread, making people aware that this is happening everywhere.
Our students were touched by what they learned and want to stand up and make a difference. At the Christmas Fair on Sunday 3 December, from 11am to 5pm, there will be stand dedicated to raising money for Youth-Underground.com – selling English books, cakes and biscuits and a Christmas-themed target practice game.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
If you have any second hand English books, or would like to bake something or offer any other kind of voluntary help or support, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org .
By Krista Clausnitzer
Teacher, English Secondary Section