By Sharon Bayata
The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking will host the First Annual “12 Days of Freedom.” This event will take place to celebrate the month of January as the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The event will also create the climax to kick off the annual celebration of “National Freedom Day” on February 1st.
According to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, we have adopted within the United States a 3P’s paradigm: “Prevention-Protection-Prosecution.” Take the first step: Prevention. Become aware, enlightened, educated and inspired.
There will be a series of events and activities that you can participate each day starting on Tuesday January 11th, Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and ending on Saturday, January 28th.
- January 16th the Lake Eola Walt Disney Amphitheater, 195 North Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, FL will host the National Human Trafficking Awareness Event (1:00p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
- January 18th, University of South Florida hosts a movie night at the Marshall Student Center. University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave, MSC, Tampa, FL.
- January 22nd, Movies on the Lawn will be showing the movie Trade at Ringling College, 2700 Sarasota, FL
- January 23rd Element Church at 2702 Causeway Center Dr., Tampa, FL and First Christian Church at 2299 Drew Street, Clearwater, FL will be hosting a Candle Light Vigil beginning at 6:30 p.m.
- January 25th Sweet Tomatoes at 31151 U.S. Route 19 North, Palm Harbor, FL will be having a Fund Raiser between 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a flyer that you can take in hand to the restaurant.
- January 28th, Caribbean Delights Island Grille at 2920 East Bush Blvd, Tampa, FL will be hosting a Human Trafficking Awareness Event.
The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution abolished slavery by stating, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” This was passed through the vision of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which opened the door to contemporary thought on this issue. Modern-day slavery is the human trafficking of men, women, and children forced into sex, labor, or domestic servitude. We need to fight to keep the values of our country alive, and, as long as human trafficking continues, those values are at risk. In the words of William Lloyd Garrison, “enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril”.
The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (FCAHT) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004 by Anna Rodriguez. This organization has helped many people, and will continue to help victims of human trafficking. Anna Rodriguez’s first contact with human trafficking was in a case in which she served as a victim advocate with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and as an outreach coordinator for the Immokalee Shelter for Abused Women in Collier County. She has performed in this capacity for over ten years. She has also been nominated for the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. FCAHT works with service providers to help victims with shelter, medical and psychological services. FCAHT also provides training and services to law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, faith based, civil and community organizations in order to bring awareness and recognition to the signs of Human Trafficking. For more information about FCAHT or to set up a training presentation call the FCAHT office at (727) 442-3064.
Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking