In May 2006, Birdsong’s daughter drafted an article for the Barry University newspaper about one of her passions — the need to end human trafficking and modern day slavery. We found it among her personal effects after her death. We wanted to share some of what she wrote with the wider world:
Human Trafficking Awareness at BU
Barry’s 3rd Annual Anti-Slavery Day was quite a success. The presentation room was full to capacity with faculty, staff, and students. Most of the students appeared to be to be at the lecture to fulfill a class requirement, but they walked away with much more than a tossed quiz.
The forum was comprised of a lecture by Barbara Burns and Allison Forsyth who both work for the Florida State Attorney’s Office ********* the global human rights issues of modern day slavery and human trafficking are hardly new, but recently they received a lot of recognition in the media. This is probably because human trafficking is a multimillion dollar industry and the third largest organized crime in the world, be hind arms trade and drug trafficking.
It is also the fastest growing global crime because unlike gun and drug trafficking, profits do not cease to roll in once the product is sold. trafficked humans can continuously make money for their oppressors by being put to work in a myriad of deplorable, dangerous, and undignified conditions.
Human trafficking is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
[AFTER DISCUSSION SHE ENDS…]
…Finally, stay informed. Be aware of ever changing statistics; of the value of every person’s life, dignity and human rights, and find out what you can do to preserve those rights. Every minute counts. Every minute of your time could help get someone– possibly an innocent child — out of a hopeless, abusive, oppressive reality.