Global, silent dangers in the backyard

Consuelo Naranjo / Contributing writer

Ignorance is not an excuse and indifference is not an option.

FIU4freedom, part of the Wesley Christian Community and with help from students, is fighting against human trafficking.

Students from every major can volunteer, while they put in practice their knowledge from their field of study. The participants will get certificates for community service hours.

FIU4freedom wants to teach society about all types of human trade still existing. Even though approximately 70 to 80 percent of all cases involve sex abuse, trafficking includes organ harvesting, factories and armed conflicts.

FIU4freedom wants to use three different groups together to get their goals accomplished.

The leadership council meets bi-weekly and wants to focus on how they can put to use each leader’s background to the organization’s advantage. The planning team focuses on brainstorming ideas that can happen in the University. And the task force is for students who like to work with their hands and can build displays and even pass out flyers.

The first meeting will take place on Friday, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. at the Modesto Maidique Campus in Graham Center room 305.

“In the 21st century, approximately 27 million people are suffering from slavery including adults and children from around the world,” said Regan Kramer, member of the Wesley Christian Community and founder of FIU4freedom. “They are victims of human trafficking, regardless of their sex, age, or race.”

Last year, with the support of the University community and other nonprofit organizations, FIU4freedom-Week had guest speaker Katariina Rosenblatt, a local survivor and founder president of HOPE, who spoke to students about her personal experience.

This free event included documentaries, a discussion panel, artwork, conferences and a representation of an interactive shelter showing the conditions that victims have to live in.

“Most people believe that human slavery occurs in undeveloped countries, far from the United States. However, what most of them don’t know is that Florida, especially Miami, is a huge port for global human trafficking,” said Kramer.

In 2011, Sharon Lawson, from NBC South Florida revealed that Florida ranked 3rd in profitability from human trafficking, thus contributing an estimated $32 billion worldwide to this industry.

“We are looking forward to establishing a coordinated effort among community leaders, to develop strategies and enforce politics and procedures actions against this worldwide epidemic,”  said Kramer. “Government officials must raise their voices for this good cause. I encourage students to participate and make a positive difference in the world.”

FIU4freedom opens invitations to Council for Student Organizations, Greek life communities, and University club members from both MMC and Biscayne Bay Campus to join leadership efforts for this humanitarian movement.

“With the help of the Wesley community, we are preparing discussion panels and meetings that will take place at Biscayne Bay Campus at the end of September,” Kramer said.

According to Kramer, FIU4freedom wants to create a strengthened force between campuses and faculties.

She feels the schools on BBC such as Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and School of Journalism and Mass Communication, give the necessary skills to reinforce the FIU4freedom objective to work against trafficking through communication and giving to society.

“Awareness is important. As an international student from India, I saw the cruel reality of human trafficking,” said Mujataba Sharief, a biochemistry graduate student and an active member of FIU4freedoom. “FIU4freedom is a great opportunity for people to get involved  and learn more about this global issue.”

1 Comment on "Global, silent dangers in the backyard"

  1. Broward Human Trafficking Coal | September 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Reply

    As an alum, and the President of the Broward Human Trafficking Coalition, I commend this group for raising awarness and fighting the good fight!!!

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