Prompt from Sometimes Sweet: If you had unlimited resources, what political or social issue, or area of scientific or medical exploration would you fund? Do you have a cause that is near and dear to your heart that you’d put your time, energy, and money into if you had the means? Tell us about it, along with a bit of background explaining where you’re coming from.
I think if I had unlimited resources I would put whatever it would take into ending human trafficking. I don’t have a personal connection to this except that the statistics on modern day slavery horrify me. They think that up to 21 million people worldwide are living in slavery today, and the U.N estimated that only 1 out of a hundred slaves get rescued.
That means for 99% of the people trapped in slavery no one is coming to rescue them.
That scares me. As does the fact that a high proportion of people who do escape from trafficking are recaptured. You see human trafficking is big business and is run by huge criminal organisations that are invested in keeping these people in service and keeping them quiet. You see, you can only sell a gun or some drugs once, but if you own a person you can sell their services again and again.
These are the thoughts that give me nightmares, and the reason why it would be my cause of choice. I want someone to go and rescue these people.
There are already organisations that are doing great work. One of these charities is Hope for Justice, they work in the UK and I am proud to support them. They help to find and rescue victims of slavery, co-ordinating with after care organisations, assisting with prosecutions and campaigning for awareness and more Government action to prevent trafficking. Last year, 23% of the victims they rescued in the UK were children.
I wish rescuing victims was as simple as an action movie, it’s not. Victims are taught to mistrust authorities; the perpetrators are clever and know how to keep their activities hidden. Even when rescued, the victims need lots of support and help to rebuild their lives and heal from their trauma.
But despite the challenging it is possible to be rescuers in this modern age and it is possible to shut down these criminal gangs. Difficult, expensive, dangerous, but possible. And worth it for every single life saved from slavery.
So if I had unlimited resources I would fund the most highly equipped and trained investigators to go and rescue the exploited. I would hire the most clever and skilled lawyers to bring the guilty to justice, and I would have these centres full of dedicated doctors, nurses and support workers to get the freed back on to their feet.
It is a good thing to imagine what we would do with unlimited resources but it does lead me to think about what is the best use of my limited but non-imaginary resources now. Please do go and check out Sometimes Sweet page to see the rest of the Journal Day responses, it is really inspiring to see the different causes that stir people’s hearts.