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Local museum actively fighting human trafficking

Provided, Freedom Center, by Farshid Assass, Assassi Productions

 A delegation from the Freedom Center met recently with activists in Greece, Lithuania and Romania, to talk about human trafficking.

Brooke Hathaway of the Freedom Center, who was among the three-member delegation, says they went to Eastern Europe to meet and thank the people who've been instrumental in combating human trafficking in those nations.  She says they wanted to learn from those people and to raise awareness of the problem back in the United States.

Hathaway says trafficking takes many forms, but at the core, it's basically slavery.  She says some people are forced into prostitution, while others work in factories, or on construction sites without pay.  She says one common method traffickers use is to “recruit” workers to come to a destination country, like the United States, where they think they’ll get a good paying job.  But instead, they’re charged fees beyond what they’re paid, and are trapped.

Hathaway says as many as 35 million people around the world may be caught in forced labor of one kind or another.  She says the Freedom Center is working with the U.S. State Department to address the issue.

“Fortunately, today, we no longer have to convince the public that slavery is wrong,'' Hathaway says. "Most people do agree with that.  But what we have to convince them is a) that it’s still happening, and b) we’ve got to come back together to do something about it.”

She says that 'something' is demanding stronger laws and better enforcement, and motivating the public to refuse to buy goods made by slave labor.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.