That's the answer I got when I took this interactive quiz to determine my slavery footprint.
How many slaves are working for you?
If you tried to tell yourself zero, please take a look at the device you are reading this on... Is it a smart phone, tablet, desktop computer, or laptop?
Yes? ...Welp, I hate to break it to you, but the answer is not zero.
If you have one of these devices, the likelihood that it wasn't touched by a slave is pretty low.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and today, January 11th, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day or #wearblueday.
Forced labor is just one form of modern day slavery included in the human trafficking industry, which profits more than $150 billion per year.
So, what is human trafficking?
The National Human Trafficking Hotline defines Human Trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery in which a trafficker uses force, coercion, or fraud to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will.
It's estimated that 40.3 million are exploited, with approximately 25 million being used for forced labor and 15 million for forced marriage.
I didn't know much about human trafficking until I moved to Columbus and started hearing people talk about it. It's a major issue here in the state of Ohio, which ranks 4th for reported cases of human trafficking.
Human Trafficking has become a new area of interest for me now that I have an actual awareness of it. Considering my husband and I will be traveling to India this coming fall to serve our church partners and survivors of human trafficking, this is an issue I want to learn more about.
For a few reasons, I believe it's a cause I'm being led to support and make an impact on. With freedom being the primary theme of UnKajed Thoughts, it certainly feels relevant and fitting. So I'll be spending some time throughout the year to dig deeper and explore how I can be of service in this area.
As a black woman whose ancestors were slaves and treated as property, whose gender is continuously subjected to violence, I don't believe this is something that I can turn a blind eye to.
No one should.
I hope you'll join me in this fight to eradicate slavery. Until all are free...
Here are 3 easy ways you can help fight human trafficking:
Learn the signs so you can identify potential victims
Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to the BeFree Textline (233733) if you believe someone may be a victim
Discover your slavery footprint and encourage the companies you purchase products from to investigate and prevent human trafficking in their supply chains
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." -Nelson Mandela
I'm looking forward to seeing your #wearblueday pics for Human Trafficking Awareness Day! Remember to tag @unkajedthoughts on Instagram so I can see your beautiful photos and the interesting facts you've learned!