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Forever Enslaved?

What would you do if your friend, child or sibling disappeared suddenly? The police aren’t equipped to help find them, and your loss is not a priority for the government. You will never see your loved one again and the problem gets pushed to the background. 

This is Modern Slavery. 

Slavery in America has been a controversial institution from 1640 under British rule, through independence, until the end of the civil war, however, the forced end to slavery that faced much resistance may not have been the end after all. Throughout middle school American history, I wanted to learn more about slavery, however, our class wasn’t designed to focus on the topic for long. I did have an opportunity to sing with my choir at a fundraiser for New Day For Children. This organization supports girls affected by modern slavery, helping them recover by providing medical care, therapy and other necessities, which sparked my interest to learn how the past and present problems are connected. My prior research on slavery did not fulfill my desire to learn more about the topic so I decided to study a broader view of the subject in this American history project. Ultimately connecting a deep knowledge of colonial slavery to the ever-growing modern slavery dilemma close to home.


History of Slavery in the U.S.


Built on the backs of slaves:

John Punch was the first official slave in Virginia in 1640 when he was sentenced to serve a master for the rest of his life, unlike his two white comrades who were sentenced for long indentures. They had all committed the same crime, but times were tough and cheap labor was hard to come by, as indentured servants wanted land when freed and natives didn’t cooperate. White planters saw the opportunity to take advantage of the new minority group, so far from their homeland with too few to protect themselves. The economy profited from this free labor source especially the southern colonies, who’s large plantations could be staffed with little cost. The northern colonies, although not directly using many slaves were large beneficiary’s of the slave trade, sending people to Africa on voyages to collect and auction off slaves. While Britain was fighting France in the 7 Years War, America’s economy grew independent and became a large supplier to other countries with triangular trading. Britain started enforcing laws to regain power in America and implementing taxes to increase funds to pay off war debts. This all led up to the Revolutionary war that lasted from 1775 to 1783 (U.S. History 10 class notes).

(“Map of the Week: Slave Trade from Africa to the Americas 1650-1860”)

Independence for some:

animation-slave-percentage.gif

After gaining independence, the states began to question America’s values, government and future in a time called the Critical Period from 1781-1815. The question whether slavery should be part of the new country ultimately led to the Civil War. The southern economy relied on slavery too much to vote for a Constitution without slavery, so the states agreed on a ⅗ Compromise counting slaves as ⅗ of a person when considering taxes and representatives (U.S. History 10 class notes). However, this compromise didn’t stop the tension between the anti-slavery North and pro-slavery South. There are a few major events that led to the Civil War after the Missouri Compromise in 1820 that equally split the slave and non-slave states. The first was the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 when Kansas and Nebraska were added to the states. This Act let the settlers of the new states decide their position regarding slavery. Soon enough Kansas became a free state in 1861, but only after Bleeding Kansas, where the north sent immigrants to Kansas to assure it’s vote. After these influential Acts were passed, the Republican Party began to resist slavery’s expansion by recruiting other smaller parties and gaining more support. Even the slaves started to take action when a negro, Dred Scott sued for his freedom in 1857 and an abolitionist John Brown led a slave revolt in 1859. The final straw that truly separated the free north and slave South, was the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, as it showed how outnumbered the South was in the government (“Key Events Leading Up To the Civil War”, U.S. History 10 handouts). This was followed by the secession of South Carolina within only a few months of the election and the Civil war began soon after in 1861. The War led to officially freeing all slaves in the 13th amendment of 1865, yet the question presented about slavery was far from being solved (U.S. History 10 class notes).

(Mullen)

Taking steps back:

The Reconstruction Period from 1866-1877, could have been a time of progress for these newly freed slaves, but they only ended up becoming more segregated, losing many of the civil rights they had just won (U.S. History 10 class notes). The thirteenth amendment that freed all slaves in the US was passed in 1865. Even so, integration into the society became a huge problem since whites could not see these former slaves as equal people (“Reconstruction and Its Aftermath”). The Black Codes began right after the civil war ended in 1865 mostly in the south. They prohibited new freemen equal rights, to bear arms, gather for worship, vote, and learning to read and write. Vagrancy laws were also put in place, allowing unemployed and homeless people to be arrested and fined. Most of these were former slaves who could not afford the fine and were sent to convict farms to work off their debt. The southerners and other whites were purposely taking advantage of the freemen and put them into semi-slavery (U.S. History 10 class notes). Once the 14th and 15th amendment were ratified, by 1870, giving all freemen citizenship and the right to vote, other laws were made to yet again strip former slaves of their rights (“Reconstruction and Its Aftermath”). The poll tax, grandfather clause, and literacy tests were rigged to impose on their right to vote (U.S. History 10 class notes). Schools, churches, missionaries and other organizations worked to teach these free uneducated blacks, so that they could get around these laws and avoid being taken advantage of.

(“America I Am Exhibit – Nat’l Geographic Museum | Before Segregation Ended”)


The Struggle Today


Although slavery was officially illegal in 1865 and is a violation of human rights in the Constitution, slavery never fully stopped. Slaves have been a key part of the United States economy throughout history. Not only did they farm the large plantations in the south, help fight for our freedom during the Revolution, build our railroads in pursuit of Manifest Destiny, and fight for civil rights, but they also helped shape the culture of America (U.S. History 10 notes). Today people still find it necessary to profit from modern slavery and the question is whether America will ever be able to solve an institution so ingrained in its history. Modern-day slavery is a booming business in large cities across the US and internationally, that continues to grow every year. Modern day slavery is the exploitation of humans, often forced labor or sex while human trafficking is humans being bought and sold by others (Goldberg). This is a 32 billion dollar industry that threatens 244,000 children in the US per year (“Human Trafficking in the United States”).

(“We’ll Listen. We’ll Help”)

The graph above is an example of modern slavery’s rapid growth, tracking trafficking hotline calls per year and this doesn’t take into account all reported cases. In 2017 the stats represent only part of the year, thus it is significantly less. Although it is important that more people are reporting trafficking cases, we are not making any progress in solving the growing problem. California and Texas are two of the biggest centers of human trafficking. My home state California had over 1,300 human trafficking occurrences in 2016, double the cases of all other states. This is partly due to the fact that it shares many international borders and attracts a large immigrant population. The second highest was Texas with 670 cases and third was Florida with 550. Out of thousands of calls in 2016, 76 percent included sex trade. Many victims are transported through domestic work like hotel employment as well as agricultural jobs for human trafficking. Threatening victims, emotional abuse, violence and withholding necessities and rights all come into play in many of these trafficking cases. These statistics will likely continue to grow as there is little risk of the trafficking businesses getting caught or losing profit (Ali).


Solutions


When considering solutions to such a persistent and growing problem like trafficking, the first form of attack should be to raise awareness and educate.

  1. Specifically, it should be enforced as a part of public schools curriculum, teaching children starting in middle school because those are the children often targeted. Not only do people need to be aware of the problem, but they have to be taught what to look for in their surroundings on a daily basis. The more eyes we have on the lookout for signs of trafficking the more people we can catch.
  2. After this crucial step, a way to help those already taken into trafficking is government funding for building more private safe houses like the Freedom House. This would solve the problem with victims not wanting to call or go to the police. Many of these victims are convicted of prostitution and taken into custody by police when they are found. Some victims have no place to go and are afraid of being followed and killed. With private safe houses open to take in these victims, they are more likely to leave their abusive situations (Alvarez). 
  3. Another necessary safety that victims should be given is witness protection in court proceedings. The victims need the states backing their cases so that these traffickers can be prosecuted. Although there are so few cases, there is not enough funding and a lack of training to deal with them. Trafficking cases are usually delayed as there are other priorities. Officials need to be trained how to look for evidence to prove their testimony and address all flaws in their argument, otherwise these cases will most often be unsuccessful, letting the traffickers free (U.S. Department of State). 

Other solutions:

  • Preventing further distress by giving victims immunity from being prosecuted for crimes that relate to their trafficking.
  • Children 18 and younger should have their own homes where they will receive health care, protection, and education.
  • Teach people to look for common signs like, “…physical force, threats of physical force, deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, debt bondage, threats of deportation, and threats to family members” (U.S.: Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery).
  • Trafficking is flourishing due to advanced tech, so monitoring technology and putting more restrictions on its use would be beneficial. With the ability to do many things anonymously online makes it hard to catch those with trafficking intentions.
  • Transportation monitoring is also important. Bay area airports are a huge hub for trafficking.

Ways to get involved


Connect yourself to a U.S. trafficking organization. The Polaris Project is a great non-profit that is connected to the trafficking hotline and will keep you up to date with new information. On the Polaris web site, there is an option to donate to their initiatives or get involved in other ways. Polaris has just helped pass the “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which helps hold websites like accountable when they knowingly facilitate sex trafficking” (“Polaris” ). Another way to help is to just be aware and bring this information to others.

Talk to your local schools about including modern slavery in their curriculum, possibly in health or social studies classes.

Call or email your local and state government representatives to show your interest in the problem and inquire about what they are doing to help.

FINAL SURVEY


Works Cited
Ali, Safia Samee. “Human Trafficking Increased in 2016, Organization Reports.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 5   Feb. 2017, www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/human-trafficking-increased-2016-organization-reports-n717026.
Alvarez, Priscilla. “When Sex Trafficking Goes Unnoticed in America.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 23 Feb. 2016, www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/how-sex-trafficking-goes-unnoticed-in-america/470166/.
“America I Am Exhibit – Nat’l Geographic Museum | Before Segregation Ended.” Sam Markman Photography, szmarkman.zenfolio.com/natgeo_aia_exhibit/h3D279518#h3d279518.
“Free the Slaves Formula for Freedom.” Vimeo, 26 Mar. 2018, vimeo.com/148250584.
Goldberg, Eleanor. “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Slavery, Human Trafficking (And What You Can Do About It).” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 15 Jan. 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/15/human-trafficking-month_n_4590587.html.
“Human Trafficking in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Jan. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking_in_the_United_States.
“Map of the Week: Slave Trade from Africa to the Americas 1650-1860.” Mappenstance, blog.richmond.edu/livesofmaps/2014/11/11/map-of-the-week-slave-trade-from-africa-to-the-americas-1650-1860/.
Mullen, Lincoln. “These Maps Reveal How Slavery Expanded Across the United States.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 15 May 2014, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/maps-reveal-slavery-expanded-across-united-states-180951452/.
“Polaris.” Polaris, polarisproject.org/.
“Reconstruction and Its Aftermath.” Reconstruction and Its Aftermath, a Part of the African American Odyssey Exhibition, Is about the Difficulty Free Blacks Faced during the Reconstruction Period., memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart5.html.
U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2017/.
“U.S.: Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery.” Human Rights Watch, 22 Sept. 2008, www.hrw.org/news/2004/07/06/us-efforts-combat-human-trafficking-and-slavery.
“We’ll Listen. We’ll Help.” National Human Trafficking Hotline, humantraffickinghotline.org/.
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COMMENTS: 119
  1. April 27, 2018 by Sophie Staeger Reply

    Your parallel between the slavery in the time of the Civil War along with later discrimination and Jim Crow laws was an interesting comparison to the “modern slavery” of sex-trafficking which really added to the power of your presentation.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. I am glad that you thought my presentation was powerful. I hope to help change this problem, one voice at a time.

  2. April 27, 2018 by Nadia.Ngom Reply

    Great writing! I would be interested to see what the demographics are for “modern slavery.” Are the people getting kidnapped primarily white, black, hispanic… etc.?

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. Yes, I would like to even research this subject further. There is so much information.

  3. April 27, 2018 by Rachel Dauby Reply

    Your page ties slavery in colonial America very well to modern day slavery, and takes the reader through the paces of time. Awesome work!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page and for your comments.

  4. April 27, 2018 by Bhavana Angalakudati Reply

    This was really informative! I hadn’t realized the magnitude of this terrible industry, so thank you for educating me on this topic!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. I am so glad that this was eye opening to you.

  5. April 28, 2018 by Young Kim Reply

    I didn’t know as much about this topic prior to this – obviously, you focus on problems within the US, but I think that it is prevalent all over the world. I really enjoyed reading about this. Thank you!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. It is a world wide problem for sure, but my focus was on how large a problem it is in the US. It shouldn’t exist at all in any country. I am glad you enjoyed reading.

  6. April 28, 2018 by Sondra Nachbar Reply

    This was a very interesting, informative and well written presentation. Excellent research and well documented.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page and for your comments.

  7. April 28, 2018 by Minjeong.Kim Reply

    I was personally intrigued with this topic because recently in school, we read a book that was published by Fredrick Douglass, and as we broached the topic of slavery, one of the students informed us that modern slavery is still prevalent around the world, and the number of it is gargantuan. Therefore, I think that your topic is very essential to address as people might believe that enslavement has been abolished, while it still prevalent. I also liked how you not only the provide the reader with possible solutions, but also with how we can be involved to solve this issue!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. Getting involved is key to solving this issue. I am glad that someone brought that up in your class to raise awareness.

  8. April 28, 2018 by Michelle Fulbrook Reply

    Great job on this presentation. You put in a great deal of work and it shows. The solutions to this problem are important and awareness is key to solving this issue. So many people are unaware that modern slavery is a billion dollar industry and not enough is being done about it.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. I did put a great deal of work into the project. I hope that people realize how modern slavery is steeling the youth from so many.

  9. April 29, 2018 by Joan D'Angelo Reply

    Fantastic job Morgan!! Hope you got an A+ for this project. Your research was spot on about how slavery of one kind or another still exists today.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. I also hope I get an A+ for the project, but more importantly I hope I inspire change.

  10. April 29, 2018 by Sam Silverman Reply

    Great work Morgan! Looks like work done by a serious professional. Your writing is truly eye-opening and it’s great to see you passionate about a issue as pressing as this.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. It is a pressing issue that so many people are unaware of the magnitude.

  11. April 29, 2018 by Deanna Bernard Reply

    Very informative and well written. Well done Morgan!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for checking out my page. I appreciate your comments.

  12. April 29, 2018 by Sarah P Reply

    Wow! You included amazing research and utilized plenty of visuals to go along with your information and attract the reader. You made sure your formatting excited the reader with colorful titles and created a unique section in which you discuss your opinions on what the solution is which I thought made your project unique and demonstrated your voice! I thought you chose a topic that can be very hard to tackle because of the size, but you created a stream-lined project, which attacked this vital issue and you called your peers to action!! Awesome research! My favorite part was probably the demographic map that changed year by year! So cool!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my project. It is a large subject with so much information. Other solutions, like using the web, I didn’t even include because I had to pick the ones I felt more passionate about. I hope that this raises awareness.

  13. April 29, 2018 by Denise F Reply

    Morgan, it is wonderful to see a new generation passionate about fighting for social justice and against the systematic exploitation, dehumanization and oppression of others. I hope that this is more a beginning for you than an ending in terms of thinking through the complex intersections of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, history, commercialism and power you raise here and, in terms of acting in ways, large and small, to ensure that the lives we lead and the safety and well being many of us too often take for granted never rest, through complacency, ignorance, or active passivity, on the backs and over the lives of others. As Martin Luther King once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” I am proud of you for raising your voice in a meaningful way and I hope you are inspired to keep going.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. I love the quote by Martin Luther King. I must use it in future endeavors. One voice cannot do it alone, so by raising awareness, I hope to gain more voices.

  14. April 29, 2018 by Shrina Zaldivar Reply

    Impressively well written, Morgan. I see a lot of research and thought put into this project. You have made many connections that others fail to make (at any age). It also lends to deeper thought on the subject at hand and how much further back in history slavery goes (throughout the world vs. solely in our own country), and how it connects to the current abuses/failings in humanity to connect and address the deeper issues. Thank you for sharing this!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page and taking the time to comment. This problem is world wide for sure, but I was trying to focus on the fact that in such a country like the US, this is one of the leading industries. This is clearly sad and not enough people are aware.

  15. April 29, 2018 by Carlos Zaldivar Reply

    Very well written Morgan ! As a father of 3 girls this subject is always in the back of my mind. The solutions you propose are wonderful. I would like to add the highest, steepest penalties and jail time to anyone convicted of this crime. This will discourage some to even think about it.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time out to read this project. I agree with the penalties. I believe that anything that imposes harm on children, the future of our country, should suffer harsh penalties.

  16. April 29, 2018 by J.Kemp Reply

    Learned some new things in reading this. Please continue to speak out. People need to hear these facts and act. Good job!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read this project. It is easy to speak out on a subject I am passionate about. I am glad I was able to give you further insight.

  17. April 29, 2018 by Anthony Shannon Reply

    Well researched and well written. This is a very mature and worldly topic to tackle. I really like that you presented several solutions and ways people can be involved at many levels, instead of just informing about a problem. Morgan, I will not say I’m surprised at the quality of this work, because I have seen your dedication to your performance in VOENA. This project is obviously the end product of a great deal of thought, research, careful consideration, and devotion. You give us all great hope for the future of human kind and I am proud to say I know you.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my project. I only hope that everyone can become aware of such a terrible problem and take action.

  18. April 29, 2018 by Lauren Wapshare Reply

    Amazing job Morgan! Very impressed with your work and dedication to this subject. It is clear that this is something that you are passionate about, and you should continue working with this. I think your first solution is very important, a lot of what is going in the world is not taught to kids, and it should be. The only way to fix the problem is to spread awareness. Your work is truly inspiring and it shows how great your work ethic is!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. It is easy to be dedicated to a subject that affects so many people, especially children. It should be taught to all children, so they know that it exists, not only to protect them, but so they can protect each other.

  19. April 29, 2018 by Nick-o-las Reply

    Great job morgan very well written. I liked the smooth transition when you talked about slavery in the past, modern slavery, and what we can do for the future.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page and for your comments. I appreciate it.

  20. April 29, 2018 by john fulbrook Reply

    Morgan, well done. Awesome research and combination of words and visuals to make your points. Your work addresses and adds fire to the important subject of sex trafficking in a powerful way. And most importantly you provide a way for people to get involved! Well done.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my project. I hope that everyone that reads my page thinks about one small way of getting involved to help change this horrible problem.

  21. April 29, 2018 by C Wragg Reply

    Great job Morgan, you did a wonderful job on this topic. I am so proud of you – it is very clear you are passionate about this subject and want to spread awareness. If we start with awareness, more folks will want to get involved to help stop this horrible practice.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. I am passionate about this subject as I feel that not enough people are aware of the problem. Getting involved is what I hope to achieve.

  22. April 29, 2018 by Doris Laux Reply

    Awesome job, Morgan!
    You are a great writer and your research is very informative.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. I appreciate your comments.

  23. April 29, 2018 by Howard Mergelkamp Jr Reply

    Well written and highly informative article.

    I was very impressed with the thought that went into this and how you were able to boil 200 years of U.S. History on this subject down to a few well written pages .

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. It was really inspiring to research and I hope to continue to work with organizations that help take care of children that need our help.

  24. April 29, 2018 by Howard Mergelkamp Reply

    Nicely written and very thorough and thought provoking. We do not want to become complacent about this and need to root it out of our society. Great work!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page. I hope to volunteer with organizations that can help make this problem a problem of the past.

  25. April 29, 2018 by Veerle Sanborn Reply

    Great job morgan! Super informative and well written! You are a great writer!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my project. I hope that you will share with others what a real problem this is.

  26. April 29, 2018 by Leela Trainor Reply

    Morgan
    You have certainly done extensive research into this matter I like how you have tied slavery from the past to the present day. It is a pity that not much has changed but transitioned into this modern day travesty However with your voice and people who are passionate about this will certainly help to bring awareness to this problem and hopefully bring an end to this. Well done my dear.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time and reading my page. I really was inspired as I began to get deeper and deeper into this issue. Not enough people know about it and I hope that my project will be eye opening and raise awareness.

  27. April 29, 2018 by Kathy K Reply

    Excellent research and presentation on a subject you are clearly passionate about – thank you for sharing your fine effort at shedding light on this tragic, ongoing subject. So proud of you!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time and reading my page. I am particularly passionate about this subject. When my choir performed at an event to support children caught in this industry, I heard some of those children’s stories. It was so heartbreaking and not enough people support helping them.

  28. April 29, 2018 by Teresa Aubert Reply

    Really good preparation, good research and well written!! Thank you for sharing.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time and reading my page. It is such an important subject that I think many are not aware. My choir performed at an event for New Day for Children which seeks to recover children caught in this industry and providing them with a safe house, mental health care, support and more to help them recover and start a new life. https://www.newdayforchildren.com/ This really sparked my interest and when I had to pick a subject, I knew what I wanted to do immediately.

  29. April 29, 2018 by Alice Hall (Grandma) Reply

    Morgan, this is a fantastic piece of work you have created about historic and modern day slavery. You obviously put a lot of work into researching all aspects of slavery from the beginning to the present; and as you have pointed out, it is still rampant in our country and all over the World. I enjoyed reading this presentation, learning some things I did not know, and becoming so aware of how grown up you are and how passionate you are about such a serious subject at your age. I hope you will always be this passionate in everything you do!! You are the type of person that can contribute so much to help correct injustice in our World.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. I am glad that I was able to provide you with some new information. I am passionate about this subject in particular because my choir performed for an organization, New Day for Children, which seeks to recover children caught in this industry and providing them with a safe house, mental health care, support and more to help them recover and start a new life. https://www.newdayforchildren.com/

  30. April 29, 2018 by Joe Macrina Reply

    A well researched paper covering human trafficking. Your passion for raising awareness is admirable. I hope you continue to research and address modern issues like this as you look to advance your education. As you develop experience and knowledge, I am confident that you can assume a leadership role in changing policies that allow such a terrible situation to exist.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Change is so important and it cannot be done without hard work and commitment. The fact that slavery has always existed makes me wonder why society chooses to stay blinded by this issue. It is so real and such a terrible issue as it is steeling children from their lives.

  31. April 29, 2018 by Josephine Cardaci Reply

    Thank you for caring. More articles of this type are needed to bring the problem of human trafficking (slavery) to the forefront.
    Good Job!

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. I hope to volunteer and give time to organizations that help bring human trafficking to the forefront.

  32. April 29, 2018 by Frank Cardaci Reply

    Thank you for enlightening me about a very important problem. All too often these children are lost to society, their families and themselves. I appreciate and applaud your effort.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of children who are victims of modern slavery.They fall into it, get kidnapped or are lost. Our society should do more to protect children.

  33. April 29, 2018 by Madoka Reply

    I really liked your website! I thought it was well researched and fully explains the prevalence of the issue. I also liked how you included ways to get involved and stressed the importance of prioritizing this issue.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. Getting involved is so important. Change cannot happen without it.

  34. April 30, 2018 by Abigail Reply

    Great job!! I did not know how much of a problem slavery still was today, and you provide a lot of really good information. Your project is very easy to read and I really like your visuals. You also have great advice for what the average person can do to help stop modern slavery.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      I am glad that I was able to expand your view and provide you with good information. Thank you for taking the time to read. I only hope that people will be inspired by my project to make positive changes.

  35. April 30, 2018 by Catherine Holmes Reply

    I am aware of New Day for Children one of many organizations helping and bringing this historic problem to the front
    Let’s nip it … reminds me that 10 years ago no one wanted to say Breast Cancer..now NFL players will wear pink on the field
    What Color should this epedinic take. On ?
    Great write up !!!

    Now

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      My choir sang at a benefit for New Day for Children and it was heartbreaking and eye opening to hear from victims. I wanted to bring awareness to this problem as not enough is being done because I believe people are not informed. Thank you for taking the time.

  36. April 30, 2018 by Greg Matkosky Reply

    Thoughtful and informative. Research often isn’t able to embrace those two qualities, but you present both a sincere story grounded in substantial fact. Thank you for sharing it.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Before I started researching this, I was aware of the problem, but I didn’t know how big it was. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  37. April 30, 2018 by Ann Gilbert Reply

    I found your writing informative and passionate. With more awareness we can bring this topic into discussions that start at home with our youth.

    • April 30, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading and for your insight. I appreciate it.

  38. April 30, 2018 by Sydney Reply

    Hi Morgan! I really enjoyed your project and it’s clear that you put a lot of thought into it. I’m glad that you’re raising more awareness about slavery because I personally feel like it isn’t talked about as much as it should be. Nice work!

  39. April 30, 2018 by Parker Reply

    Great project! I didnt know that this was such a huge problem. Your visuals were good and the information amd solutions makes me want to help bring awareness about this subject to others sbd volunteer to help.

  40. April 30, 2018 by Samantha Furstein Reply

    A job well done. The material was well researched and thoughtfully presented.

  41. April 30, 2018 by joanna badano Reply

    Amazing job Morgan! I learned a lot from your research and presentation, thanks so much for sharing this information.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my page and making comments.

  42. April 30, 2018 by Kelly Grudzien Reply

    Morgan – Thank you for sharing this topic. Very informative and well written. I can really see your passion and interest. Congratulations.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my page.

  43. April 30, 2018 by Mark Westwind Reply

    Excellent work! This underscores the importance of looking out for one another well beyond our family and friends … in stores, at hotels, in our communities … being aware of everyone’s well-being and being willing and ready to speak up when things don’t seem right.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Yes, keeping an eye out for each other and looking around to see how we can each help support change, especially with this subject as it is ruining children’s lives. Thank you for taking a look and commenting on my page.

  44. April 30, 2018 by Rochelle McLaughlin Reply

    Thank you Morgan for the incredible work you are doing to bring awareness to the horrors of trafficking and modern day slavery in America. It’s heartbreaking that this is happening to our children and your work is inspiring us to do our part in making sure there are sanctuaries and refuges for abused and enslaved children and for preventing this from happening to other children. I’m grateful for your work and I appreciate what you’re doing very much.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Yes, it is heartbreaking and so many are unaware of the magnitude of the problem. We all need to ban together to prevent this from happening. Thank you for reading my page and commenting.

  45. April 30, 2018 by Freyja Kremer Reply

    Amazing. Informative, I did not know about this. Clear, and straightforward. You made your point and stuck to it. Wonderful!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and read my page.

  46. April 30, 2018 by J chow Reply

    Very interesting read on a your parallel between the very visible slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries in America and the less visible slavery/human trafficking of current times. Morgan, great research, thought, and writing of a very heavy but important issue!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. Yes, this is a really important subject that I am hoping to help raise awareness.

  47. April 30, 2018 by Noelle Chow Reply

    Wonderful work, Morgan – this is important work. Amazing job.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page and for making comments.

  48. April 30, 2018 by BJ Coleman Reply

    Great work, Morgan!! Very insightful!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to read.

  49. April 30, 2018 by Graham Yallop Reply

    Extremely well balanced and thoroughly presented. The ability to present an objectively written overview of an exploitive problem through time and how it is affecting the modern day is very impressive. I would be interested to find out the age, ethnicity and location breakdown further, as this may uncover how resources are allocated and shortfalls occurring in states that are less interested in pursuing further.

    Very good indeed!! Keep it up.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. Yes, there was so much information on the subject that I could only present a small amount in one page. I will look into what you have asked. Thank you again for your comments.

  50. April 30, 2018 by Jessica Reply

    Morgan, it is wonderful to see such passion in your work. Keep it up you’re a rock star!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to check out my project. Appreciate your comments.

  51. April 30, 2018 by Sean Knight Reply

    Thank you for a very informative and well written paper on a difficult subject.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my project.

  52. April 30, 2018 by Kristen Knight Reply

    Morgan, thank you for sharing your informative paper. It is valuable to be reminded and educated about the human injustices that continue even in “modern” times. Thank you for striving to make a difference in people’s lives!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for checking out my project. Everyone can make a difference one step at a time. Hope that this project raises awareness.

  53. April 30, 2018 by Adriene Reply

    Morgan, I learned a great deal from your writing and am hopeful that your generation will be the ones to make lasting change. Thank you for your heart, strength and passion. This will make a difference.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for checking out my project. I am truly passionate about the subject and want to help raise awareness.

  54. April 30, 2018 by Cynthia Rinehart Reply

    To take the initiative and research a topic that was of interest to you that you didn’t feel as covered to the extent you would have liked, tells me a lot about the type of person you are Morgan. Very well researched and very well written. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I found out that Sonoma County is a hub to trafficking. There were billboards as I was leaving Sonoma and I just couldn’t figure out why. Well thought out strategies and perhaps this may be something you choose to delve into in years to come.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Yes, Oakland airport is also a hub and it is scary knowing how close this truly is to our society. No one is truly safe. Awareness can help to educate and keep children from falling into traps. Thank you for taking the time.

  55. April 30, 2018 by Susan Fast Reply

    Well done! Just an aside; the most interesting sign I ever saw was taped to the back of the door of the stall in a women’s restroom on I 95. It asked that if you thought any young women in this restroom were being held against their will to call a number . I never saw that sign again. Too bad. I am so glad you are tackling this issue. Laws do not change people’s beliefs, just their outward behavior. Well educated youth is our best hope. Keep up the good work and the good fight.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      The sign is significant and should be in every rest room gas station across the US. It is a good idea and one I will keep in mind moving forward with this work. Thank you for taking the time to read.

  56. April 30, 2018 by Amanda Adams Reply

    What a great project! As a Dept of Defense employee, I’m required to take annual training on human trafficking and how to recognize the signs of it. The scenarios are always grave. I really like how your paper offered up solutions, and didn’t just tell us about the problem.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      I would be interested in hearing more about your training and your experiences. Maybe you would take some time to discuss with me your experience. Thank you for reading my project.

  57. April 30, 2018 by Gretchen Burgess Reply

    What a powerful message! And one that needs to see more light in our communities.

    Stay with the work and keep the spirit alive. I know you have the power to promote change and the gift of raising the hearts and minds of others.

    You Go Girl!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Promoting change is important, but we need to raise awareness and ban together to make change. Let’s ban together on this and help these victims.

  58. April 30, 2018 by Elena Heil Reply

    Morgan,
    I appreciate your sending me a link to your project. Your work is well done and informative, as well as impressive. It was a thoughtful approach and one that brings this enormous problem to light in a new and interesting way by comparing modern-day trafficking to slavery practices in the past. I particularly appreciated the links you included. I think your project brings to light not only the horror of trafficking, but also some solutions and ways to make a difference. When people do not know about these things firsthand, they often tend to overlook them, so you have not only increased awareness but also provided vehicles for people to get involved. I am confident that you will continue to do good work in this area and make a difference in the lives of victims of this horrendous practice. Keep up the good work!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for reading my project. I really am passionate about this subject and want to continue to raise awareness and get involved. It is such a terrible practice and children are losing their lives to this all over the world.

  59. April 30, 2018 by Linda Schultz Reply

    Thank you for such a well written well researched topic that is of such importance in our society today. One can feel your passion and determination in just reading this powerful document.

    Continue to pursue your passion always and best of luck to you in all your future endeavors. Young people are proving the power they have when truly committed to an important cause that affects so many.

    Congratulations.

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my page. I hope to volunteer to help and raise awareness.

  60. April 30, 2018 by Emma Leyden Reply

    Great job, Morgan!! We need young leaders like you to help change the many oppressive institutions in our world today. Thank you for providing informative research on such a typically taboo topic. Problems can only be solved when people are informed and willing to talk about them. You are taking that critical first step. Keep up the great work!

    • May 01, 2018 by Morgan.Mergelkamp Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to check out my page. The problem is much bigger than any of us could have imagined.

  61. May 01, 2018 by Uyen Nguyen Reply

    Morgan,
    Fantastic job on the presentation! Very informative and powerful message.

  62. May 03, 2018 by Cindy Lezama Reply

    Morgan. What a great project and an even greater topic. So well written and incredibly important. Traffiking is a topic that certainly requires more attention and exposure. Young voices such as yours is relevant for this topic to be heard. Amazing read. Amazing writer. Shout it out loud! Great job.

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