D.C. Scientologists March Against Slavery
Human rights advocates from the Church of Scientology join in a concerted effort to counter human trafficking.
There are an estimated 29.6 million caught in the grips of human trafficking in the world today according to Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomas Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Reuters. Villa points out that victims of human trafficking in 2013 are “roughly equivalent to the population of Australia and Denmark combined. Modern-day slavery is a fast-growing industry worth $32 billion a year, equal to the profit of McDonalds and Walmart combined.”
In June, the United States State Department Trafficking in Persons Report for 2013 pointed out that the United States “is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children—both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals—subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, and sex trafficking. Trafficking can occur in many licit and illicit industries or markets, including in brothels, massage parlors, street prostitution, hotel services, hospitality, agriculture, manufacturing, janitorial services, construction, health and elder care, and domestic service. Individuals who entered the United States without legal status have been identified as trafficking victims, as have participants in visa programs for temporary workers who filled labor needs in many of the industries described above.”
To help raise awareness of the issue, Youth for Human Rights volunteers from the Church of Scientology and Georgetown Law School participated in as “UNBOUND: A Walk Uniting the Movement to End Human Trafficking” and the program’s resource fair at President Lincoln’s Cottage national monument in Washington, D.C. Youth for Human rights is a human rights education initiative supported by the Church of Scientology.
The volunteers spoke with hundreds attending the event and collected signatures to back human rights education.
Each year, the Stop Modern Slavery Walk brings together like-minded groups and individuals to raise awareness on human trafficking and raise funds for its victims. This year’s funds will go to ten anti-trafficking organizations that provide direct services for survivors of slavery, including rescue, rehabilitation, shelter and aftercare; and organizations that provide training and raise awareness on human trafficking. These programs include Innocents at Risk, Polaris Project, Safe House of Hope, Global Centurion, Restoration Ministries, Shared Hope International, Country’s House, Bridge to Freedom Foundation, Women at Risk, and Seraphim Global.
Scientologists on five continents engage in collaborative efforts with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to bring about broad-scale awareness and implementation of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s premier human rights document.
The Church of Scientology has published a brochure, Scientology: How We Help—United for Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Global Reality, to meet requests for more information about the human rights education and awareness initiative the Church supports. To learn more, visit Scientology.org/HumanRights.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream,” and the Scientology religion is based on the principles of human rights. The Code of a Scientologist calls on all members of the religion to dedicate themselves “to support true humanitarian endeavors in the fields of human rights.”