(Candle vigil for Eritrean Refugees who perished in the Mediterranean Sea in March 2011 at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City, Israel)
Never. Ending. Struggle. WE can no longer sit idly by while this continues. The ugly truth is that many of these shenanigans were taking place prior to any of our births—OUR people’s blood over flows the waters of the Mediterranean and Red seas…What can be done? Let us first understand the crisis of human trafficking. It’s an organized crime that generates close to $7 billion dollars annually. The fees charged to smuggle migrants range from $2,000 to $10,000. Smugglers take advantage of many migrants desperately seeking better living conditions when ideal realms of migration are denied due to harsh immigration laws. Migrants then become susceptible to abuse, torture and exploitation: they may suffocate in containers, perish in deserts, drown at sea or altogether be sold into sex slavery while being transported by these greedy for profit, inhumane criminals that regard them as objects rather than human beings. The principal smuggling routes are leading from East, West and North Africa to Europe and from South America to North America. The absence of legislation to address the trafficking in many parts of the world (in particular the Horn of Africa) often means that traffickers can continue to commit the crime without being brought to justice. Prosecuting higher-level smugglers and following the money trail by launching financial investigations and freezing, seizing and confiscating assets, as well as looking for examples of money-laundering can dramatically decrease the rates of these transnational crimes. Moreover, the underlying social, economic and political pressures that make human trafficking possible cannot be ignored. Unemployment, war and persecution are the main causes out of several for people evacuating their native countries. To better understand these dynamics and fully address the root causes of migration so we can prevent human trafficking, we need international cooperation in order to implement harmonized anti-trafficking laws that closes all possible loopholes for criminals. Lets start by telling the US State Department to take action to end human trafficking in Sinai by signing this petition . For more info and ways to help combat human trafficking, check out the Blue Heart Campaign and the Polaris Project. I can’t emphasize enough that this is a CONTINUING STRUGGLE. Any action we take won’t solve the problem completely but we all can agree that it’s a better alternative than NOTHING. One life saved is better mourning one dead. Peace and love.