By Erin Hannon
Roanoke College’s branch of Amnesty International held a Human Trafficking Awareness event Nov. 3. This was RC Amnesty’s first campus-wide event of the semester.
Members of the group shared a different human trafficking victim’s story to begin the event. The victims were from all over the world and come from all walks of life; however, they all shared similarly unfortunate stories.Amnesty International provided facts and information about human trafficking to continue the conversation after the stories were shared. Many of the facts were shocking and impactful to the audience.
For example, one surprising fact was the United States’ heavy involvement in the world of human trafficking. While the U.S. does not see as many human trafficking victims exported, we are unknowingly one of the biggest importers. On top of that, Amnesty discussed how The U.S. has very few laws concerning human trafficking.
Roanoke’s branch of Amnesty International is just a small part of the larger organization. Amnesty works to help fight and end the human rights violations that are taking place every day across the globe. They make a difference by combining the efforts of small groups into one large voice.
One of Amnesty’s most effective techniques is their annual “Write-a-Thon”. Every year, Amnesty calls on its smaller groups, including RC Amnesty, to join together and write letters to local and global leaders, asking them to make a change regarding specific issues. As a whole, the organization takes on a variety of issues, yet RC’s branch chooses to focus on just one issue each semester. The members of the club vote on a particular area of interest that they want to direct their attention to every semester. It can be anything from this semester’s human trafficking to last semester’s focus on acid attacks.
Amnesty has several more events planned for later on in the semester, all of which are based on human trafficking awareness. The next event will be a documentary viewing, to be held in late November. In December, the club plans to host a letter-writing event where all students are invited to come and write letters to various local and world leaders, asking them to support laws to end human trafficking.
For those interested in getting more involved, Amnesty’s next meeting will be held Saturday, Nov. 14 at 2:00 pm.