Down in Melbourne yesterday, fish were flying between high school students as part of a simulation trading game highlighting the way people become invisible when profit is paramount.
The event was part of a Social Justice retreat run for Victorian Uniting Church schools by the VicTas Synod Social Justice and International Mission Unit (JIM)- and it got students mulling over the issue of human trafficking in India.
“Human trafficking affects 12.6 million children in India,“ says UnitingWorld’s Development Officer Bronwyn Fraser, who was invited by VicTas JIM to present at the retreat for UnitingWorld. ”The young people at this workshop really engaged with the issues, grappling with the idea that sometimes people are so trapped by poverty they really feel they have no choice but to take the option before them. While those at the top of the trafficking ‘food chain’ might be organised criminals, many of the recruiters within the community are just people living on the poverty line trying to find a way to escape. You can’t just label people as evil, and the students found that idea quite challenging.”
The Workshop aimed to introduce students to the issues of Trafficking and also to the work of UnitingWorld’s Partner in North India, the Diocese of North India, who run Awareness Courses to prevent trafficking and Rehabilitation for those who have been victims.
“We asked the students to think about what would need to be done to help prevent trafficking and to restore people to their communities,” Bron says. ”It was great because on their own, the students basically came up with exactly what the Church in North India is providing for women and girls who have been trafficked.”
Our thanks to all the enthusiastic students who took part in yesterday’s workshop and to VicTas Uniting JIM Unit! We look forward to many more productive partnerships in the future. Students, you can do something about this issue! Keep talking to your friends and teachers. Keep raising the issues. And stop human trafficking, support women and girls leaving sex work and help them return to their communities by donating to the work of UnitingWorld’s partner in NORTH INDIA here.