In true service-above-self fashion, Rotarians around the world are uniting to take on another devastating injustice that is plaguing humanity. Rotary Action Groups Against Slavery (RAGAS) are being formed all over the world in an effort to combat today’s fastest-growing international crime: human trafficking.
According to the Department of Justice, “Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons or modern-day slavery, is a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts.”
In its February 2nd online article, Forbes published that this problem amounts to a $150 billion dollar market with over 40 million people enslaved around the world – some as young as 4 years old, reports RAGAS.
I know many of you may find this hard to believe, but it is happening even in our small, rural Nebraska towns. Did you know, as of September 2020, 62 cases have been reported this year in Nebraska, bringing the total number of cases since 2007 to 348? (See humantraffickingonline.org.) Modern day slavery is everywhere, and with over 1.2 million Rotarians around the world, we have the ability to reach so many. We have the ability to make a change. We can help by:
- Publicizing the work of and working with other anti-slavery organizations
- Reminding Rotarians of their ethical responsibilities with regard to the rights of children
- Encouraging Rotarians and Clubs to take action by:
a) actively supporting the work of anti-slavery organizations in their work combating slavery and human trafficking
b) directly supporting various projects, e.g. Slavery Rehabilitation Centers through personal visits, participation in grant projects
c) identifying and boycotting offending products
d) supporting campaigns that highlight illegal activity and seek to bring justice for those offended
- Influencing policy makers when considering the rights of children and adults held against their will
- Engaging Rotarians world-wide through Rotary’s social and other networks (RAGAS).
I would love to visit with each club and brainstorm ideas on what your club can do to help.