Staff’s Essay (3) Why I am concerned about human trafficking and modern day slavery (Michelle Roberts)

I always knew bad things happen in this world.  However, I didn’t understand my complicity until 2011.

I attended a lecture by David Batstone.  He talked about people being tricked or kidnapped and forced to work in restaurants and brothels.  These exploited people being emotionally and psychologically abused, many times physically abused.  Mr. Batstone was compelling, but I needed to confirm his stories.  Unable to join in the Not For Sale Japan activities, I spent many hours researching.

It turned out my everyday life supported human trafficking and modern day slavery.  From the materials (components) in my smart phone to the clothes I wear and even the salt I use on my food had claimed the lives of many people.  Beginning with changing my lifestyle, I felt the need to do more.  By this time I had moved to Korea and was able to volunteer my time with many NGOs to help combat human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Even now as I continue to change my purchasing habits and help raise awareness for sex and labor trafficking, I know that I alone cannot solve this problem.  It will take us working together to make a difference in the lives of people being exploited.

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