When told to generate a list of possible research topics for a class that revolves around the word “activism”, you will run out of paper before you run out of ideas. After a quick brainstorm, I glanced down at my list and narrowed down my topics to a mere five. Anti-poverty activism made the top five because I have personally witnessed extreme poverty on service trips. Poverty is a problem that not only riles me up, but affects billions of people. Another topic on my list is mental health activism, specifically for depression and anxiety. Personally knowing a few friends who suffer from these illnesses, I recognize that there are misunderstandings that need clarification. This clarity is reached through the efforts of activists. Anti-smoking activism and anti-sweatshop activism were two more possible research topics. Both affect large groups of people worldwide and have many developed activist movements. Although these topics carry a high level of importance, the most pressing seems to be human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that includes transporting or receiving a person by force and using them for forced labor. This multi-billion dollar industry is illegal and inhumane. According to the International Labour Organization, there are approximately 20.9 million people that are victims to trafficking. Stripping people of their right to freedom, human trafficking cannot be ignored. There are many activist groups around the world who are putting up a hard fight. One organization that I have ran across is Polaris. They fight for stronger federal and state laws and operate the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Polaris has also collected data through these efforts, allowing them to accurately prove to the world the severity of human trafficking. Another group, The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, provides similar services, such as their own hotline. The forms of activism used to fight the hidden horrors of human trafficking are more than deserving of everyone’s attention. I am eager to dive into further research of modern activism methods that are used to fight modern slavery.