Trafficking in Persons: A story not told enough

Filed Under (International journalism, Skills, Story Idea) by on 21-05-2010 and tagged ,

There are always plenty of stories on campus for student journalists to cover. And a few of those stories can be pretty exciting. But they are still campus-centered and often have little impact beyond the campus.

And yet there are many campus organizations that deal with issues that are beyond the campus borders and even beyond our national borders. Maybe these groups will get a write up for a publicity campaign about this issue or that. And that is all well and good.

But why not look into some of the issues raised by these groups and see if there is a town-gown connection or even a larger global connection?

When people think about trafficking in persons (TIP), the most common view is most likely people tied to sweat shops or child prostitution. And usually the images are of this happening in some other country.

Sadly enough, trafficking takes place in the USA and it affects people on a very local level.

This morning I got a Tweet from Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame. I am a follower. Wish I was a friend.) about a case in Washington, D.C., of two women obviously caught up in a trafficking situation.

(Here is my discussion at my personal blog site: Trafficking is a local and international issue

What struck me in the responses to the initial query was the number of places in the States designed to help people IN the States trapped in this practice.

I am sure there is a group on the Mason campus dedicated to helping people trapped in a trafficking situation. Maybe instead of just talking to the campus activists, the campus reporter could go out of his/her way and talk to some of the local groups in DC and NoVa also involved in the issue. I will bet that reporter will find that trafficking is not just something happening someplace else.

(Full disclosure: My wife spends a lot of time on this issue in her role as the #2 in the US embassy in Brazil. And she has directed the embassy staff to pay close attention to the issue.)

p.s. The issue is so important, that even the Armed Forces Network — the broadcaster service for the US military — runs PSAs educating members of the US military how to identify a trafficking situation and what to do about it.

Comments are closed.