Traffick Jam continues to raise awareness

This January many organizations participated in Human Trafficking Awareness month, seeking to educate about the tragic reality of modern day slavery. Here at MVNU, the CoSMO group Traffick Jam has been working hard to do the same.

According to UNICEF, an estimated 21 million people are trafficked worldwide. Though human trafficking is most commonly thought of as feeding the commercial sex trade, victims of trafficking are also forced into labor and other services.

Even here in Ohio human trafficking has become a huge problem. According to the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, over 1,000 Ohio children a year become victims of human trafficking, and the most common age of trafficked children in Ohio is 13.

With these harrowing statistics in mind, Traffick Jam knows how important it is to raise awareness and support to end human trafficking. Traffic Jam co-leader Kristen Halloran is dedicated to helping combat human trafficking locally and encouraging MVNU students to participate.

“Traffick Jam has had several awareness events this school year,” Halloran said. “Depending on the week, Traffick Jam averages five to 10 regular members, but turnout is bigger for major events.”

Major events this year include running a booth at SonFest to collect donations for the outreach organization Survivor’s Ink, hosting the premier of the documentary Shadow on the Heartland, which will soon be integrated into Ohio’s curriculum, and sponsoring an event that focused on the Super Bowl and misconceptions about human trafficking.

Though the group did not hold any events during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, they encourage students to be supportive and aware of this issue all year round.

“Unfortunately, with Christmas break and the start of the new semester, Traffick Jam was unable to organize anything for the month of January,” Halloran said. “However, I believe we should be aware of human trafficking every month, so we try to spread out our events.”

Traffick Jam meets Tuesdays at 9 p.m. in Central Complex. For more information, contact Kristen Halloran at hallorankd@mail.mvnu.edu or co-leader Mark Reilly at marreilly@mail.mvnu.edu.

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