WHS Teacher Tackles Human Trafficking

WHS Teacher Tackles Human Trafficking

Briana Erickson, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Angst. Fear. Terror. Slavery. In essence, these words describe the life of someone trapped.

A person trapped in the hands of their greedy and malicious captors.

This is real. It’s happening every minute of every hour of every day.

It’s human trafficking. Like in the movie Taken, human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, and commercial sexual exploitation, or forced labor.

It’s modern-day form of slavery.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 25 million people are in forced labor (including sexual exploitation) at any given time as a result of trafficking. Trafficking is exploited in 137 countries every year, and an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, as well.

Not many people know about the usual nonchalant way in which, mostly young girls, are kidnapped and turned into prostitutes and drug addicts each day. This is a common occurrence, and some people are unaware of how to prevent this.

However, there are many causes that have originated in order to ease the pain of trafficking victims and their families. Among those organizations is one in particular, Operation Mobilization, in which one of our very own staff members at Wellington High School, Danielle Petrozelli, is an active club member. This organization is a band of missionaries that offer safe
houses and counseling to the abused sex slaves that have been left jobless and kicked out of trafficking.

In fact, in January, in order to raise money for the cause, Danielle began a climb up the highest mountain in Africa; Mt. Kilimanjaro.

“I trained for about four months for the climb. We practiced on Pikes Peek in Colorado.” And, finally, in January, Petrozelli and the 47 other women embarked on their climb over Mt. Kilimanjaro. A total of $13,000 from all the donations was raised for the cause.

“The money goes to missionaries so that they can educate families in other countries about the possible involving human trafficking,” Petrozelli said. In most countries, most people don’t know much about this horrific injustice. Sometimes, perpetuators will manipulate family members into giving their child to them by promising them a better life. If more citizens in
other countries were led to know and were informed about these indecencies, then it would be less likely to happen.

By climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Danielle Petrozelli hoped to bring light to the problem of human trafficking. She believes by making people more aware of the situation everyone will be able to do something to see that this injustice ends in the next generation.

Petrozelli and the 47 other women who are part of Operation Mobilization climbed to the peak of the mountain; Uhuru peak. “In Swahilee, Uhuru means freedom,” said Petrozelli, with a smile and big, bright eyes.

These bright and passionate eyes represent Petrozelli and the 47 other women’s passion and committment to Operation Mobilization’s cause. And, when these women climbed the peak of freedom, they hoped it served as an emblem for the liberation of these victims they are working so hard to protect.