Faced with the critical choice to combat human trafficking, will a politician be a hero or a hypocrite?

For the innocent victims of human trafficking who have no voice, it will not matter whether a Democrat or a Republican is the winner.

As American citizens wait for the outcome of this critical presidential election, there is a segment of our population that remains tragically underrepresented, desperate, and completely forgotten.”

— Andi Buerger

REDMOND, OR, UNITED STATES, December 15, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — As American citizens wait for the outcome of this critical presidential election, there is a segment of our population that remains tragically underrepresented, desperate and completely forgotten. For the innocent victims of human trafficking who have no voice, it will not matter if a Republican or Democrat is the winner. Thousands of victims of human trafficking never received a ballot, were not solicited for a vote, lobbied for their support, or even considered because they are in the shadows. They are trapped. They are invisible constituents. Their unknown status, their perilous life-threatening fate and future lie in the hands of those elected officials who can choose to acknowledge their existence and fight for their freedom – or not. The people’s elected officials can choose to be the heroes through laws and legislation that immobilize evil predators, or they can say that they care – but do little or nothing to stop the human pandemic of trafficking and continue their hypocrisy of “representation.” Heroes or hypocrites?

Voices Against Trafficking (VAT) has worked tirelessly with many bipartisan members of Congress. Leaders dedicated to human rights and willing to fight to eliminate this vicious crime against humanity. They are the brave members who are not influenced by the enticement of power and big money to close their eyes to this sinister evil affecting millions of victims. These members bravely stand strong in the face of those who want them to lay back and not engage in this battle—to take a pass. An age-old tactic is the veiled threat that there are “rumors” of someone out in the wings who might be vying for their seat in their district and are well funded. It takes a brave legislator to stand strong despite the pressure.

Human Trafficking aka 21st Century slavery is on the rise. Extended lock downs, shut downs, and vigilant mask enforcement give predators an edge over law enforcement. The pandemic is meaningless to victims who are forced to sexually service 20-25 johns a day, or 6,000 rape events per victim. The odds of escape are one in 100. Who is working to ensure these innocents are represented? Where are the heroes charged with aiding and protecting the welfare of these constituents?

Voices Against Trafficking has had the honor to work with many this past year. Here are a few of our “heroes”: Congressman Greg Walden(OR), Congressman Jim Costa(CA), Congressman Chip Roy(TX), Congressman Pete Olson(TX), Congresswoman Ann Wagner(MN), Congresswoman Debbie Lesko(AZ), and Congressman Chris Smith(NJ) – otherwise known as the “magnificent seven.” These warriors for human rights lead by example and through action, not rhetoric. Each of them has devoted countless years in the fight to rescue victims who have no hope and no other way out of the depraved life forced upon them by evil sexual predators and their greedy cohorts at every level of society.

Kudos also to Donald Washington, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service, and his team for their phenomenal efforts in finding over 1,300 missing children! Families who have been devastated by the abduction of their children can now begin healing with the return of their child.

Recent heroes also include Heather Fischer, Special Advisor for Human Trafficking Domestic Policy Counsel/Executive Office of the President, who took the time to share an outstanding message during VAT’s international forum last July 29 through Zoom. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking.

I am a survivor and advocate. I know the significance someone in power can make to save a life. Those of us who have been victims pray for elected leaders to have both conscience and guts. We must have leaders who take action through legislation, law enforcement, and dedicated funding to pursue those who commit grievous acts of evil against an innocent child.

The choice for an elected official is clear: be a hero or a hypocrite. We also have a choice to vote for those with proven track records of protecting children’s rights and fostering the movement to help victims recover and re-enter communities in a safe and healthy way.

Hypocrites are those elected officials who know that 21st Century slavery exists and choose to ignore this sinister evil. These elected power mongers put their own interests, political biases, and entitled egos ahead of the tortured, the violated, and the invisible victims of criminal predators. Their acts of omission can be just as culpable as the commission of a crime specifically where the law imposes a duty on every person to take adequate action to prevent a foreseeable injury (uslegal.com).

Martin Luther King said, “A right delayed is a right denied.” Elected officials must stop the delay and it begins by acknowledging that human trafficking exists. Every 40 seconds, a child is abducted in the United States. The rights of these innocents must not be delayed or denied. The safety of somebody’s child is depending on them.

Heroes don’t just look at a mountain. They move it.

Andi Buerger, JD is Founder and Chair of Voices Against Trafficking. She is also the author of
A Fragile Thread of Hope: One Survivor’s Quest to Rescue

Andi Buerger, JD
Voices Against Trafficking
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