North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam

Leadership Adams alumni hosts forum on human trafficking

Community leaders and concerned citizens attended a presentation on human trafficking and modern day slavery by Brooke Hathaway from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The event, sponsored by the alumni of the civic group Leadership Adams, was held Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Frisch’s restaurant in West Union.

Hathaway spoke for more than hour about the history and significance of the slavery/human trafficking problem today and steps that are being taken to fight it.

According to the Freedom Center’s web site, slavery has technically been illegal in every country since 1981, but it is difficult to define today because of its invisible nature and ever-changing forms. We use a loose definition of enslavement, believing that it is any forced work under fear of physical injury or intimidation, with little or no pay, and with no opportunity for a victim to escape.

Hathaway presented eye-opening information on the prevalence of the issues. “There are 21 million people held in illegal modern-day slavery,” she told those gathered, 15 million of them are in labor and 5 million are forced to work in the sex trade. The men, women and children, who are enslaved throughout the world, work as field hands harvesting crops, as seamstresses in sweatshops, as kidnapped fishermen, as child soldiers, as common laborers so deeply in debt that their obligation can never be repaid, and as sex slaves in the commercial sex industry.”

She explained that the law recognizes several types of slavery: child slavery, bonded slavery, the sex trade, and domestic servitude – all of which are illegal.

Additionally, she told those attending that the majority of those trapped in modern-day slavery are adults, however an estimated 5.4 million are children.

She also explained that the problem is closer to home than most people might imagine, “The majority of those ensnared by human trafficking and the slave trade are in Southeast Asia, but 1.5 million are from Europe and America.”

Poverty, drug addiction, and threats of physical violence were cited as major contributing factors precluding escape from enslavement. “These people have no money, they’re often hooked on drugs by those who enslave them, especially in the sex trade, and they’re lives are threatened by violence or deportation if they attempt to leave their situation.”

At its heart, slavery is an inhuman perversion of a simple economic principle: The best way to maximize profits is by minimizing the cost of labor.

According to statistics provided by the Freedom Center, “Of the 20.9 million slaves in the world today, 90% are enslaved by the private economy – individuals and businesses using enslaved labor to generate a profit. Carpet factories, textile mills, fishing boats, brick kilns and charcoal camps – amongst many other industries – often use slaves to reduce labor costs.

In today’s global economy, the demand for cheap goods and services has created a labor system of slaves. Consumers unknowingly support this practice by preferring less-expensive goods, made so through enslaved labor. In other parts of the world, labor traffickers round up impoverished, desperate laborers, helping them enter other countries, like the United States, where they are entrapped in a bonded labor arrangement.

According to the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the human trafficking market is worth more than $32 billion, just behind drug trafficking and tied with the illegal arms industry.”

Representatives from the Salvation Army were also present to provide Angel Stars to those attending. The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides new clothing and toys for children of families in need through the support of donors. Found in local malls, companies and churches, Angel Trees are decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child in need of gifts. Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags.

In an event sponsored by Leadership Adams, Brooke Hathaway from the Underground Railroad Freedom Center spoke about human trafficking and modern day slavery.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Trafficking1.jpgIn an event sponsored by Leadership Adams, Brooke Hathaway from the Underground Railroad Freedom Center spoke about human trafficking and modern day slavery. Patricia Beech | People’s Defender

Pictured above are, from left, Brooke Hathaway, Mariah Long, and Cazzie Reyes from the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Trafficking21.jpgPictured above are, from left, Brooke Hathaway, Mariah Long, and Cazzie Reyes from the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. Patricia Beech | People’s Defender
Speaker from Freedom Center featured

By Patricia Beech

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or at pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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