Today, July 30th, is designated World Day Against Human Trafficking in Persons. The day is set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness to horrific industry throughout our world.

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This year the theme of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons focuses on the first responders- the social workers, labour inspectors, law enforcement officers and prosecutors, health workers and NGO staff who identify victims, help them on their path to justice and with rebuilding their lives. Those who see first hand the horror and sadness these victims face.

It is estimated that each day, in every country in the world, human traffickers exploit people for profit. The poor and the vulnerable are most at risk. Over 70% of detected trafficking victims are women and girls, while nearly one third are children. People are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labor, forced begging, forced marriage; for selling children and as child soldiers, as well as for removal of organs. Most victims are trafficked within their countries’ borders. Those trafficked abroad are moved to the richest countries.

In 2019 a movie premiered dealing with the true world of human trafficking. The film Ring of Silence was written, directed and produced by mid-Michigan award winning film maker, Nicole Wallace, NBW Films. Shot in Flint, the movie stars Ava Deluca-Verley ( NBC's Growing Up Fisher), Brain O'Donnell (Contagion) and Brandon Butler (Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.  The film also featured many locals as actors and extras. The premiere was held at the historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Flint.

The movie tells the story the sex trafficking of innocent teenagers, the people they love and the people who betray them. It focuses on a young girl April, a vulnerable teenage girl from a stable, suburban family who is searching for the feelings of love and acceptance in a relationship. What she finds is a world she never thought she could escape.

The film has since made it's way coast to coast and from schools to churches. It's realistic depiction that victims can be anyone, from any walk of life, in any town or city. The harsh reality hits hard with viewers. Trust me.  Many feel it's something that every parent should watch with their child.

You can find "Ring of Silence" on Amazon.  If you need help,  or know of someone who does, contact humantraffickinghotline.org or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Remember...say something...save a life.