Why We Should be Talking About Human Trafficking

Bella Biafore, Writer

In recent years, there has been an increase of awareness about human trafficking that has made it a much more prevalent issue in today’s society. Not only is human trafficking a large problem in Genesee County, but most people are not entirely informed on what to do when those types of situations arise.

PRIDE club is hoping to educate students with a Human Trafficking 101 course designed to explore its dangers and how it could be targeting the LGBT community. The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4:30 p.m. in French Hall room 111.

According to John Hogue, president of PRIDE club, a guest speaker from the Genesee Human Trafficking Task Force will be present for the course.

“We’re going to be covering human trafficking related to Genesee County, statistical analysis, as well as different ways to possibly combat [trafficking] within our community,” said Hogue.   

With the problem being so close to home, PRIDE club does not want to stop with just one course. Hogue talked about even adding onto the event with a series of other courses that tie into human trafficking.

“For now it is just one event,” said Hogue. “We are considering possibly opening up a series of events in the future concerning different topics as they relate to human trafficking. So the medical field, Department of Justice and just from a societal standpoint, as well.”

The LGBT community has been at the forefront of the human rights conversation for years. Despite this, a topic often gone undiscussed is that of the unique challenges LGBT youth face when it comes to their safety.

“The LGBT community is an at-risk community. Getting kicked out of their homes, homophobia within families; they are at risk to being abducted and trafficked into sex slavery, essentially,” said Hogue.

Kassi Perez, treasurer of PRIDE club, explains why students should come out to the event and learn more about not just human trafficking, but also the LGBT community.

“[Trafficking] is something that’s happening all around us, especially in our community,” said Perez. “I think people should come because it’s definitely an issue that affects us all. It could be affecting someone you know, you’re never sure, and it’s good to get educated and be aware.”

Stop by to get informed on human trafficking and what you can do to help in your community. The club will be hosting their meeting afterwards, as well, which is open to everyone.