Advocacy for Human Trafficking Education in Schools
Senator Perry E. Thurston, Jr.
2151 NW 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
Senate VOIP: 43300
FAX (888) 284-6086
SB 982: Human Trafficking Education in Schools: GENERAL BILL by Senator Perry E. Thurston Jr.
Dear Senator Perry E Thurston Jr.,
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen in Florida to urge you to support the bill SB 982: Human Trafficking Education in Schools by Senator Perry E. Thurston Jr. The primary intent of the bill is to advocate for inclusion of data regarding human trafficking in the public schools’ health education. The students will be allowed to opt out of the bill once they avail written notes from their parents. One of the primary benefits of including information about human trafficking in the school syllabus is that students will familiarize with the common warning signs of human traffickers (Chacón, 2017). Students will also be taught on the dangers of human trafficking, for instance, severe health-related risks such as HIV/AIDs and sexually transmitted diseases, mental health issues and risks, fear, anxiety and trauma. Students will also be familiarized with the common phrases used by the traffickers and will guide on how to seek help in case they encounter the issue of human trafficking, for instance, they can notify the nearest authorities.
As a citizen of Florida, I would like to share my grandmother’s experience with you. Many years ago, my grandmother, who used to reside in Haiti had an encounter with human traffickers. My grandmother was lured by her best friend to embrace a job opportunity which led her into the hands of the human traffickers when she was much younger. Based on her impoverished background, my grandmother agreed and so she traveled to the respective country. When she arrived at the destination, there was no job opportunity as promised. Instead, she encountered severe beatings and sexual harassment. My grandmother was enslaved, and together with other victims, they used to be given excess work in some coffee plantations with no pay. They were also not well fed, and they appeared malnourished which worsened their health status. Luckily together with a few other victims, my grandmother managed to escape, and she surfed several mental issues when she returned to Haiti.
However, some people reject the idea of including human trafficking education in the public schools’ curriculum. One of the primary reasons for rejecting this bill is that adding this information in the school syllabus would instill fear to the students and result in anxiety which is not healthy for their mindsets. However the students need to be aware of the facts regarding human trafficking ,for instance, over forty million individuals were trafficked globally, where a quarter of them were young children. According Diaz (2018), young girls and women also accounts for a large percent of the explaining trafficked yearly where most of them are below the legal age. Most of the individuals suffering forced labor and engaging in forced sexual relations are also children. Such children suffer severe exploitation and health risks such as acquiring diseases like HIV/AIDs. Human trafficking is a significant health issue characterized by exploitation and thus should be cured. The bill, therefore, would play a substantial role in creating awareness of this vice as well as implementing strategies of curbing the vice, to protect the vulnerable population.
In conclusion, accepting this bill would have many positive implications as children will be exposed to this issue at a young age which will help them avoid and report any signs of the vice. The bill will also help curb vulnerability regarding human trafficking in Florida and boost the quality of life for both the children and adults. I would, therefore, urge you to consider accepting this bill based on the significance it adds to Florida.
[Your Signature SIGNED] Jane Doe
Chacón, J. M. (2017). Human Trafficking, Immigration Regulation, and Subfederal
Criminalization. New Criminal Law Review: In International and Interdisciplinary
Journal, 20(1), 96-129.
Diaz, M. (2018). Demanding Reduction: An Exploration of County-Level Characteristics
Associated with Areas of Human Trafficking in Florida.