January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month/Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Federation Friday: Volume 2, Issue 29 - January 17, 2020

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month 

January 2010, by Presidential proclamation, the first National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month was observed to raise awareness about this hidden crime. It is estimated that as many as 27 million people worldwide are victims of slavery and human trafficking. Its victims are most vulnerable, have low income and little education. 

Unfortunately, Human Trafficking generates as much as $32,000,000,0000 a year by trapping millions around the world and here in the U.S. Manipulative tactics like violence, threats, debt bondage, and drugs are used to coerce people into forced Labor, sexual slavery or commercial sexual exploitation against their will, which creates a greater risk for women and children. Human trafficking is driven by demand, so it is important to enact and enforce laws that crack down on the traffickers. 

January 2020 marks the 20-year anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). Additional US laws passed since 2000 include U.S. Code, Title 22, Chapter 78 – Trafficking Victims Protection, The Customs and Facilitations and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2009 and The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, all of which address human trafficking. 

Additionally, the US signed onto the UN Palermo Protocol 15 years ago, which was established to prevent and punish trafficking globally. The TVPA and the Palermo Protocol create a framework for addressing human trafficking; victim protections, preventative programs, and advanced criminal prosecutions with expanded statutes. These measures demonstrate a commitment to attack the issue. Collectively we must continue to raise awareness and work proactively to prevent this crime.

January 20th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”   – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday. It is celebrated each year on the third Monday of January. In some states it is also referred to as Civil Rights Day or Human Rights Day. It is the day to remember the history of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fight for equality, dignity, and freedom. 

This is the 1st of the GFWC Seven Grand Initiatives; 1,000 service projects on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service during the 2018-2020 administration. In 2019 we completed 789 projects. We are more than halfway there so remember to plan and report your projects! 

Dr. King believed that everyone can be champions of civil rights, no matter the profession they chose in life. “Whatever career you may choose for yourself – doctor, lawyer, teacher – let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can.” 



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