I always think we should celebrate when big companies with lots of power, influence and $$$ do something truly sensational. So in that spirit, I want to celebrate our friends at Google (come on, do I really need to hyperlink them for you?)
Back on December 14, 2011, Google announced a new partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), a Washington D.C. area-based non-profit organization which does heroic, groundbreaking, courageous work to rescue victims of human trafficking and slavery around the globe. It put its money where its mouth is with an $8 million gift to be applied toward the eradication of this problem. It is part of an $11.5 million committment Google is making to end human slavery.
Some of you know that I’ve begun work on a novel, working title “Sages of Westwood,” that I hope will raise awareness of this issue.
Kudos to Google for making a statement about bringing an end to a multi-billion dollar illegal industry that entraps innocent children and women in unbearable circumstances, subjecting them not only to the fear of beatings for trying to assert their personhood but also to rape, to hard labor under horrible conditions, to malnutrition and lack of suitable medical care, that corrupts local law enforcement officials who take bribes and turn away from the problem – in short – that systematically turns people into damaged, dead and hopelessly dying.
And it happens in the United States, too. There are other great organizations besides IJM leading the charge against human trafficking and slavery: for instance, the Polaris Project , which is very in-tune with the scope of the problem here in the U.S., is receiving $1.8 million from Google.
If you’re aware of a situation where you think someone is being held against their will by a pimp or some other perpetrator, Polaris has a hotline number you can call to help her or him. It’s 888-373-7888.