“Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity. It is time to join forces and work together to free its victims and to eradicate this crime that affects all of us, from individual families to the worldwide community.” 
- Pope Francis.

 

  Today is World Day Against Human Trafficking Persons, and the goal of today is to raise awareness to victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that abnegates freedom of approximately 21 million people around the world. It is the most prevalent form of modern day slavery. And no matter where you live in the world, there is a sufficient chance it’s happening near you.  

   From the girl forced into prostitution at a bus station, to the man with his passport held against his will and forced to work, to the mother left without any choice because she cannot feed her children- it is happening. It is happening in every country, either for transit, origin or destination for victims. An overwhelming 71 percent of human trafficking victims are women and young girls. However regardless of race, gender or background, all trafficking victims are united by one common experience: the loss of their freedom.  

   There are many paths that can lead to a person being trafficked, one of those paths being severe economic destitution. With little to no resources, large families with bellies to fill, and often absolutely nowhere to turn-women are forced into sex trafficking in order to survive. Sari Bari exists to create sustainable employment opportunities for women vulnerable to trafficking and women who have aged out that want to seek a different future.  By providing employment to women right where they live ( both in rural high trafficking source areas and in red-light areas), we empower them to provide for their families and for themselves. While each woman creates a beautiful, sustainable, handmade item, they also create a new life for themselves.  

   The official slogan given from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for this year is to ‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’. It brings with it the opportunity to evaluate global efforts made to counter human trafficking, and to assess the disconnect between the scale of human trafficking and those that have the ability to access the assistance needed. With your help, Sari Bari will continue to grow and have access to more women and young girls that are vulnerable to trafficking or have already been trafficked. We will continue to believe in hope, restoration, and freedom for every woman.