January is right around the corner. It signifies the beginning of a new year, of new opportunities and resolutions. It is also gives a solemn reminder of the 27 million people who don’t enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we do. In 2010, President Barack Obama designated January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness month. During this month, people throughout the country will be raising awareness on the fact that enslavement still exists in America.
Since the passing of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 or the federal anti-trafficking law, non-governmental organizations and government agencies have launched several outreach campaigns. These are meant to show the inhumanity of modern-day slavery and engage the public to help identify victims. They also try to prevent others from falling prey to this form of exploitation.
The media has been a useful tool in informing the community and reaching households throughout America. I’ve identified three public service announcements (PSAs) created to convey the message of combating human trafficking. If a local television station in your home town or city were to show one, which one should they choose? Which one do you think captures your attention and in the short allotted time, tells you exactly what human trafficking is and what you can do to stop it? Pick and vote. Then, maybe you can take it a step further and pursue your local community station, radio, or theater to play the short video for January 2012 and the 27 million slaves.
*Please note the following public service announcements present strong material. Viewer discretion is advised.
Department of Homeland Security
United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking PSA 1
United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking PSA 2
So what did you think? Did one call you to act?Regina Bernadin is a doctoral student at Nova Southeastern University focusing on Conflict Analysis and Resolution. As a SISGI intern, her primary areas of interest are conflict resolution, human rights and Latin American political, economic and socio-cultural issues. Her interest in the development of human rights abroad has taken her to several Latin American countries, including Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname.