Apr 15, 2017 09:53 AM EDT
Human trafficking and slavery is a big problem that the United States is facing. However, not a lot of people are aware of just how massive the issue is. College students from all over the country have joined the cause in raising awareness and funds for the victims of human trafficking. Princeton Against Sex Trafficking (PAST), International Justice Mission and One Voice are just a few of higher education student organizations that want to end human trafficking.
Katherine Trout, a sophomore public and international affairs major and co-president of the Princeton group, told USA Today College that their organization is passionate about revealing the humanity behind the victims of human trafficking. This is because statistics talk about millions of enslaved people but, oftentimes, society forgets that these are living and breathing human beings.
Trout leads the student group along with classmate Matthew Allen, a junior public and international affairs major. They both first became aware of the issue in their teens but only recently found out how they could help through the student organization.
PAST is made up of a 10-person board and 30-person support network. It attempts to fight human trafficking by raising awareness and funds.
The Princeton student organization has partnered with global organizations like Yazda. It combats human trafficking of the Yazidi people, who are an ethno-religious group indigenous to Mesopotamia.
Trout added that most Americans, when asked whether slavery is still practiced today and whether it exists in the U.S., will most likely answer no. This is false - there is a large amount of human trafficking rings in the nation today.
Recently, there have been reports on an increase in number of human trafficking victims in South Florida and Maine. Moreover, Sun Sentinel reported that more and more victims are coming from children who are living with families and less from children in the foster care system. Last year, the number went up to 83 percent, a vast difference from 51 percent back in 2012.
College student organizations raising awareness on the issue can make a huge impact on solving it. News4Jax also noted that three bills to protect human trafficking victims have passed a House committee in Florida.
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