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Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary caught a glimpse into an appalling abyss with Roger Cram’s presentation on the hidden world of human trafficking, something that few are aware of and fewer still wish to acknowledge, confront or take adequate measures to end.  While calling the U.S, “the ostrich nation”, he offered statistics on the numbers of  street kids, illegal immigrants, homeless persons in this country as well as the forced labor (enslaved people, young and old) worldwide  involved in the production of many popular products, both agricultural and industrial, and in the sex trade everywhere.
January has been designated National Human Trafficking Month but little recognition of this fact is to be found in the media, or anyplace else.  Unrecognized, as well, is the existence of slavery as the fastest-growing enterprise of organized crime.  The laws applicable in these cases tend to frame the victim as the culprit and fail to recognize the psycho-social, emotional, economic and dependency issues behind the complex situations which contribute to the continued existence of slavery in the modern world.  Slaves are cheap, cheaper now than when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, hidden behind food, electronics, carpets, natural rubber products, diamonds, tennis shoes….
The U.S. Department of Justice has publications on-line containing shocking revelations.  The Alliance Against Human Trafficking, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is another source. If it is, indeed, true that “there is none so blind as he who will not see”, we must open our eyes and deal with this scourge…once again.