Even while in college, students can help in the fight against human trafficking and slavery.
Michelle Conn, senior director of strategic partnership of International Justice Mission (IJM), on Thursday encouraged Trevecca students to be aware of slavery, sign petitions, and pray for those in need of rescue.
IJM is a global organization that protects the poor from violence, and is the leading nonprofit addressing the issue of human trafficking on a global level.
IJM works with more than 21 million people in 17 communities.
Conn spoke in chapel as part of Social Justice Week.
In addition to rescuing captives, IJM also focuses on the restoration of survivors.
Restoration for survivors is not limited to assisting in recovery, but includes the restraint of the abuser, Conn said.
Most of the countries where slavery is prominent have laws set in place against these crimes.
“We go into these countries and say, ‘You say these things are wrong, yet they are happening,’” said Conn.
After four years of IJM partnership with local law enforcement in Cebu, Philippines, the availability of minors for sex decreased by 79 percent, says the U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report of 2012.
Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice, chose to include IJM in this week’s chapel schedule because, although IJM is a global organization, it is locally connected.
“Conn runs the Nashville office for IJM. Well, she is the office,” said Casler. “She was also the fifth employee to the organization, which now has over 600 employees.”
Casler adds to Conn’s list of student involvement and suggests students follow IJM on their social media accounts, which IJM uses to spread the word about captives being rescued.
“Seeing these stories on your social media feeds makes the issues real,” said Casler.
Casler also suggests Trevecca students who are interested in being more conscious shoppers consider the information available on slaveryfootprint.org that can answer the question, “How many slaves work for you?”.