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by Reka Bauer
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 10:07 PM
Human Trafficking, a 32-billion dollar illegal activity, remains a serious problem all over the world including the USA. Nearly 40% of all missing children in our own country may be victims of trafficking. Recently, in Florida, two groups united to take a stand against this horrible practice.
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On Monday December 10th in commemoration of 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Florida Chapter of the Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) presented the YHRI public service announcements depicting the 30 articles of the UDHR, a Human Trafficking movie called “Look Beneath the Surface”, and a human rights music video called “UNITED” to 60 police trainees and instructors in the Florida Regional Community College in St Petersburg.
Heather Magness, the speaker for the Florida chapter of YHR said: “Although the United Nations adopted UDHR 60 years ago and declared that its member nations should publicize and disseminate human rights, the current evidence of unawareness of human rights is all too obvious in the horrific abuses that have occurred since World War II. We have seen 170 wars since World War II, 250,000 child soldiers, 8.4 billion children working under forced labor and 100 million school age children receive no form of education.”
Closer to home, Magness cited Florida as having the second highest number of racial hate groups and is the number one state in human trafficking. Human trafficking amasses 32 billion dollars in funds into illegal hands and destroys the lives of the mostly women and children who fall into its trap.
Both the Florida Coalition against Human Trafficking and Youth for Human Rights International are focusing on educating youth and adults on what are their human rights and how to recognize signs of abuse occurring in communities all over the world.
Giselle Rodrigez, Victims Specialist for the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, said, “Human Trafficking is a heinous and dark crime that is being committed not only abroad but in the US. Currently Florida has become the number one destination or human trafficking victims. It is now starting to affect our youth as traffickers are targeting our runaways! 200 US kids run away from their home everyday. A third of those kids will be approached by a trafficker within 48 hours. It is estimated that 40% of the missing children in the US may be victims in human trafficking. It is important for the community to learn about human trafficking and work together in an effort to not only protect our children from being preyed on but in also being able to identify and rescue victims in our area.”
Youth for Human Rights claims that through its public service announcements, presentations, petition signing and personal outreach, they have made 380 million people worldwide aware of their human rights.”
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