January: Human Trafficking Awareness Month
For those of you reading this who aren’t Bincers (what we call ourselves here at Binc) or weren’t yet Bincers last July, the name Bashita might not mean that much to you. For me, it’s a name I won’t forget for a while, if ever. Bashita was a 20-year old woman who was sex trafficked in Bangladesh. Someone she knew promised her marriage across the border into India, but once she arrived, a brothel was awaiting her. Fortunately, she was rescued by special operatives by The Exodus Road, an organization that strategically fights against human trafficking and prepares communities to recognize and fight this exploitative behavior.
How does Binc fit into this?
We have a close relationship with a clothing company, Fodada, which gives a portion of their proceeds from the sale of each item to a charitable organization. In this instance, the proceeds from our purchases of Binc swag went to Exodus Road and helped fund Bashita’s rescue. Albeit indirectly involved with the operation, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to give back and help those dealt with hands much less fortunate than our own.
With January being Human Awareness Trafficking Month, I hope we can sit back and reflect on an issue that not only occurs internationally but is present in our own backyards. Every day somebody is trafficked and is forced to work in brothels, fishing boats, factories or private homes. 70% of those enslaved/trafficked are women and children and suffer inhumane conditions with little to no means of escaping. Reports say there are roughly 45 million people caught in human trafficking today.
Whenever I see statistics like this, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the scope of the problem. Oftentimes I think, “this problem is so large, what is my contribution going to do? It’s not going to stop all trafficking. Am I actually helping?” Questions like these carry a degree of hopelessness…
Will a one-time donation put an end to all of human trafficking? No. But it can and does make a difference. It made a difference to Bashita. As you’re reading this last bit, it may seem corny and cliché, but take a few seconds to put yourself in her shoes. Think about the day when she was rescued. Think about that moment when she realized that she wasn’t going to be trafficked anymore. I have no idea what that would feel like.
Human trafficking is a highly complex, multi-layered issue, and I don’t expect any of us to be experts on how to tackle it, however, I’m glad we’ve partnered with an organization that consists of professionals who understand how to navigate and fight against such human exploitation. Therefore, in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the victims of it, and the people fighting to stop it, let’s take a moment to reflect on the work being done to stop human trafficking.