Written by Danae Church, Second Life of Chattanooga Intern

“It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name – modern slavery.”

– President Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting September 25, 2012

Status is defined by the Oxford Dictionary (2013) as “the position of affairs at a particular time, especially in political or commercial contexts.” One year after President Obama challenged the nation, the White House staff released a status update telling us what they are doing to combat human trafficking. At the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting held September 25th this year, the administration announced a series of initiatives that have been, or will soon be, launched. Utilizing a variety of services, agencies, occupations, and industries our government models collaborative efforts in combating the injustice of human trafficking in our nation and overseas.

Status Update: “Global warming?? Or are things heating up in the fight against trafficking?”

Several of the initiatives include:

  1. Conducting tech camps to design affordable and easy-to-implement tools to battle trafficking.
  2. Helping healthcare workers identify victims and provide services with screening and training.
  3. Connecting to global payment service, Western Union, to fight trafficking payment methods.
  4. Educating flight crews and airline staff in staying alert for signs of trafficking.
  5. Outline a road map for child and youth services to identify, engage, serve, and restore victims.
  6. Strategizing with donors to map funding, resource gaps, and how to acquire those resources.
  7. Create challenges like the recently launched, Reimagine, that has an aim to get communities to creatively provide long-term housing, economic opportunities and services for victims.

Status Update: “Is this a dime store ‘cause we’re seeing change in our community!?”

We at Second Life of Chattanooga are excited to see such developments and discussion at the national and global levels as we strive to do our part in our community. You may have seen us around Chattanooga recently as we’ve been busy collaborating with area agencies and organizations to make a difference. From presentations at area universities to meeting community members and stakeholders, handing out pamphlets and wristbands, attending meet and greets, and writing grant proposals, we have been keeping busy. We’re even preparing for our first costume party fundraiser, “Fright for Freedom.” As we put our heads together, we urge you to explore innovative ways you can contribute and make a difference to fight human trafficking.

Status Update: “I’m doing my part to end human trafficking!”

Whether it’s developing an app, informing your friends and family, giving a presentation, making a donation, writing your politicians, hosting a documentary screening, or  advocating through a status update, be creative, collaborate, and don’t ever stop fighting until this injustice is eradicated.

Bibliography

Status. (2013). Retrieved October 3, 2013, from Oxford Dictionary: http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/status

Park, T., & Graubard, V. (2013, September 25). All Hands on Deck: Renewing the Call to Combat Human Trafficking. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from Whitehouse.gov: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/09/25/all-hands-deck-renewing-call-combat-human-trafficking

Park, T., & Graubard, V. (2013, September 25). Progress Report: The Obama Administration’s Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking at Home and Abroad. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from Whitehouse.gov: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cgi_fact_sheet.pdf