Human trafficking is an ever-increasing area of international concern. Trafficking in humans is one of the fastest-growing criminal activities in the world and is stated to be the 2nd largest criminal industry globally, it is utilized for the suppression of human rights, the institutionalization of sexual slavery; forced labour, and to exert control over women’s reproduction. It is a global scourge that affects communities from every continent. This is the portrayal of one woman who has gained physical and emotional freedom from the chains of slavery that once held her captive.
by Debra Ayis
She'd forgotten how to smile
She looked into the mirror
Urging her muscles to remember the pattern
Her fingers edged her cheeks upward
Tracing the outline of what she sought.
She clawed into the depths of her soul
Into the darkness that plagued her
She searched for a marble
A sparkle of joy and light
They had put her down,
Stripped her of her purity
Chartered her like an object
Sold her to the highest bidder
Her identity lost in more ways than one.
She’d survived, she’d escaped.
A new identity, a brave voice
Fighting for the voiceless
Protecting the innocent
Past the hate, anger, and nightmares
Building on precious lost years
Healing from within
Telling the world her story
Learning about love and happiness
Walking out in freedom
Embracing life as the sun rises at dawn
Like a dead seed sprouting to life,
She is gradually moving past her horror
Learning to find her smile again
 UNHRC, Conference Puts Focus on Human Trafficking, Fastest Growing Criminal Industry, (Oct. 11, 2010), http://www.unhcr.org/4cb315c96.html.
 Bobby Ray Stacy, “The Growing Role of Terrorist Groups in Human Trafficking.” Coalition Against Trafficking. Dec. 27, 2014. https://coalitionagainsttrafficking.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/the-growing-role-of-terrorist-groups-in-humantrafficking/.
Picture by Ira Gelb