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Activist Faith

One week ago today, I featured a petition from my friends at Redeem the Shadows to push for legislation to criminalize human trafficking (modern slavery) in West Virginia. Why? It is the one state without a formal law against human trafficking.

The good news? So far, 572 of you have signed. Thank you!

The not so good news? Many of you have yet to take the one click necessary to help stop slavery in the US. As many as 18,000 immigrants are trafficking into the US to work in forced labor situations, not including those within US borders.

YOU can help stop slavery.

Be the difference.

Learn. Click. Change the world.

Thanks!

 

-Dillon

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Amazingly, there is still one state that has yet to criminalize human trafficking.

While laws will not make the problem go away, a lack of laws reveals a lack of concern regarding the exploitation of men, women, and children forced into labor of various sorts against their will.

Slavery continues to take place in the U.S.

The tragedy is not that slavery still exists in America; the tragedy is that we allow it to continue.

People should not be bought and sold.

Do something. Join the petition below and help fight slavery and human trafficking in West Virginia, America’s only state that has not criminalized human trafficking.

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[The following petition and overview is hosted at Change.org and was initiated by my friends at Redeem The Shadows.]

OVERVIEW

West Virginia is the only state in the U.S. that has NOT criminalized human trafficking.

Without laws specifically recognizing human trafficking, victims risk going unidentified, criminals are given more lenient sentencing, and law enforcement is unable to effectively combat this horrendous crime.

West Virginia has set into motion House Concurrent Resolution 146 (HCR 146), which calls for a study into the existence of human trafficking in the state of West Virginia. However, this nonbinding resolution is unnecessary given that the U.S. government and all other U.S. states have recognized human trafficking as a crime actively occurring throughout the country:

State Department: “The United States recognizes that, like other countries, it has a serious problem with human trafficking for both labor and commercial sexual exploitation.” (The 2010 Trafficking in Persons [TIP] Report)

     In 2000, U.S. Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, “To combat trafficking in persons, especially into the sex trade, slavery, and involuntary servitude.”

Furthermore, the conclusions found from the HCR 146 study will not be reported until the regular session of Legislature in 2012.

Unfortunately, human trafficking is happening NOW and leaves no state untouched. West Virginia is by no means excluded from this harsh reality.

West Virginia needs to stop lagging behind the rest of the U.S. and pass laws recognizing human trafficking as an official state crime TODAY.

Please sign this petition and tell West Virginia to CRIMINALIZE HUMAN TRAFFICKING!

PETITION LETTER

Criminalize Human Trafficking in West Virginia

Greetings,

West Virginia is the only state in the U.S. that has not criminalized human trafficking.

Without laws specifically recognizing human trafficking, victims risk going unidentified, criminals are given more lenient sentencing, and law enforcement is unable to effectively combat this horrendous crime.

While West Virginia has set into motion House Concurrent Resolution 146, which calls for a study into the existence of human trafficking in the state of West Virginia, these conclusions will not be reported until the regular session of Legislature in 2012.

Unfortunately, human trafficking is happening NOW. The U.S. government, with Congress’s passing of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and all other U.S. states, through their creation of anti-trafficking laws, have recognized this fact.

Human trafficking leaves no state untouched; West Virginia is by no means excluded from this harsh reality.

I respectfully ask that you help bring West Virginia up to speed by introducing and passing legislature recognizing trafficking of human beings as an official state crime.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this serious issue.

[Sign here.]

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DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending ChristianityNot in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (November). Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.

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