In the last week of January, Help and Options for the Prevention of Exploitation (ENC Students for H.O.P.E.), a student group on ENC’s campus, organized multiple events for “Human Trafficking Awareness Week” to educate the ENC community about a global issue that affects many people, even within the Boston area.
Monday kicked off with a Kingdom Experience event, where students gathered to worship and discuss issues related to justice in the Bible. Tuesday followed with a screening of the documentary “Sex Trafficking in the USA” that addressed the issue of prostitution within our country, focusing on specific stories from Boston, Nashville, and Chicago.
“I think that was really eye-opening to students who attended the event that evening,” said Co-President of H.O.P.E. Olivia Michael. “I really believe that awareness is the key in this fight. If we can educate students, students can educate peers, and the process goes on from there.”
Awareness seemed to be the overarching theme throughout the week, as Administrative Assistant of H.O.P.E. Chris Estep expressed, “Maintaining a posture of awareness is important when it comes to learning more about human trafficking, as with any other serious human rights issue in our world.”
On Thursday, Caddie Nath from Boston University explained the work she does through the Human Trafficking Clinic at the Boston Family Justice Center, as well as relaying the research she has done on laws related to anti-human trafficking efforts in the United States.
Estep and Michael both said there was a large presence from the ENC community at all of the events throughout the week. Estep’s hope was “that those who attended the events of the week came away from those experiences with a much broader, more accurate understanding of the nature of human trafficking in our city, country, and world.”
Prayer and awareness were key components in educating students who attended the events throughout the week. For more ways to become aware about the human trafficking issue in the world, and even the Quincy area, Estep said that students “should read and watch the news, read and watch the news more often, and read and watch the news more critically.”
Friday completed the week-long event with an ice cream social, where a representative from Fair Trade USA talked about the importance of fair trade in our world today. The events throughout the week not only informed students about the realities of human trafficking, but also instructed students on how to be aware of the issues and what can be done to help prevent them.