Guest post 'Why I'm raising my voice' by Katie Wood (17)

It always encourages us at Red Community when young people get passionate about human trafficking and speak up for the trafficked, exploited and enslaved. We were recently contacted by a young girl from South Wales who is getting passionate about raising her voice for the voiceless. We asked her to write an article for the Red blog. Here’s what she wrote:

I’ve been asked many times over the last couple of years ‘why human trafficking’ and the answer is simple really. Human trafficking is a sick violation of human rights. Men, women and childrenare kidnapped, tricked and sold into this horrific trade and often treated worse than animals.

Its hard to make people understand what these slaves go through. Even though there are many types of human trafficking, it is the sex trade that sickens me most. This industry seriously needs to be shut down! Sex slaves can be beaten, starved, locked away and tortured. These women and children are forced to sleep with numerous men every single night – men who don’t see them as people but as commodities. Many become dependent on alcohol and drugs – an addiction they then have to pay for by selling their bodies.

How people can traffic other people just goes beyond me. Just imagine that was your friend or a family member. It makes me sick! Women who have been trafficked into the sex industry have been forced to have abortions, or to even have their baby taken from them and sold.

The day I found out about human trafficking was the day I decided to be a voice for the voiceless and I will carry on for as long as I live. Many people who know about this horrific trade might and will think to themselves that they are too young to make a difference or that their voice wont be loud enough but it will make a difference. There are 27 million people being trafficked in the world today and there are billions of people who are free, who have a voice.

So raise your voice, fight for what you believe in and don’t let anyone make you feel too small that you wont make a difference. I found out about human trafficking from a guy who was speaking at an event about human trafficking. He has become an inspiration to me and he always will be. He raised his voice and now I am. I will never stop. Not until I make a difference.

Together we can bring awareness!

Katie Wood is 17 years old and lives in Port Talbot, South Wales