Candlelight Vigil to honor the Victims of Human Trafficking
on Fri., January 25, 2013, at 6 p.m., Oklahoma State Capitol Building – South Plaza
This January, Oklahomans Observe National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Oklahoma City, Okla. (January 17, 2013) – In observance of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Oklahoma Human Trafficking Task Force invites all Oklahomans to attend a Candlelight Vigil to honor the Victims of Human Trafficking on Fri., January 25, 2013, at 6 p.m. Oklahoma State Capitol Building – South Plaza.
- Candlelight Vigil honoring Human Trafficking Victims Program (about 20 minutes)
- Opening Prayer: Mrs. Cindy Lankford (Congressman James Lankford’s wife)
- Song: “Amazing Grace”– Emily Elkins, LifeChurch.tv
- Governor’s Proclamation: Attorney General Scott Pruitt
- Featured Speaker: Wilma Lively, Day Spring Villa
- Closing Prayer: Pastor Mark Crow, Victory Church
“According to experts, there are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in human history. Free the Slaves conservatively estimates there are 27 million men, women, and children in slavery at any given time. Eighty percent of all victims are women, and HALF of them are children. The victims of human trafficking are trapped in a life of misery…often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or taken to grueling jobs and forced to work for little or no pay,” said Major Leisa Hall, Divisional Secretary for Women’s Ministries, The Salvation Army Arkansas/Oklahoma. “Human trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry, second only to drugs as the largest criminal enterprise in the world. Shockingly, the average entry age for trafficked victims in the sex industry is 12-14 years old. Even here in America, our nation’s sons and daughters are being forced to work as sex slaves and we need your help to get the word out.”
“This month, we rededicate ourselves to stopping one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time. Around the world, millions of men, women, and children are bought, sold, beaten, and abused, locked in compelled service and hidden in darkness. They toil in factories and fields; in brothels and sweatshops; at sea, abroad, and at home. They are the victims of human trafficking — a crime that amounts to modern-day slavery. As Americans, we have long rejected such cruelty. We have recognized it as a debasement of our common humanity and an affront to the principles we cherish. And for more than a century, we have made it a national mission to bring slavery and human trafficking to an end.” – President Barack Obama, as stated in his Presidential Proclamation.
“Oklahoma is one of the top states in the nation for human trafficking. Geographically, Oklahoma is the crossroads of the nation; we have three major interstates that run right through the heart of our State. Traffickers are driving through our state every day,” said Suzi Hanson, OATH (Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans) Coalition Volunteer. “Human Trafficking is an issue of vulnerability and Oklahoma is in the top for all the wrong things – teenage pregnancy, teenage homelessness, child abuse to name a few and we are in the bottom for the wrong things as well – 49th in education and according to the last census, we were 46th in per capita income. If you are a bad guy looking for vulnerable, broken, hurting, young girls, Oklahoma is the place to be.”
More Candlelight Vigil Details:
- Friday, January 25, 6 p.m., South Plaza of the Oklahoma State Capitol Building
- Governor’s Proclamation
- Oklahoma City Mayor’s Office is illuminating the Skydance Bridge in the color blue in observance of the Vigil and Human Trafficking Awareness color.
- Battery-operated candles and blue pin-on ribbons will be available for participants.
Upcoming Human Trafficking Events
OATH (Oklahoman Against Trafficking Humans) Fundraising Luncheon
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Skirvin Hotel
Contact: Suzi Hanson at email@example.com or 405-822-8230
Miss Oklahoma 2012 will be our emcee for the luncheon, and you will learn more about human trafficking and how it relates to Oklahoma. Additionally, a survivor of human trafficking, trafficked here in Oklahoma, will share her story. Projects to include, but not limited to, awareness campaigns, getting this information into schools educating our sons and daughters, and research into opening a home for girls who are rescued from sex trafficking under the age of 18.
Providing Services to Runaway Youth and Victims of Human Trafficking Online Discussion
January 22, 2013, 11 a.m.
Go to http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum/asp/participate.asp for instructions on how to participate.
Community Summit on Human Trafficking
Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (registration beginning at 9:30 a.m.), Location: TBA
Contact: Major Leisa Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans (O.A.T.H.), is a local non-profit, 501(c)3, that focuses on helping people understand human trafficking. Our mission is to expose this issue, identify possible victims, and help them get the services that they need for recovery. Many Americans are stunned to find that this is not only an international and national problem, but that it strikes at the very heart of our great state of Oklahoma. In fact, Oklahoma is one of the top states in our nation for recruiting and trafficking slaves for the sex industry. The United States is the number one destination for child sex trafficking. Our children are at risk and we at O.A.T.H. want you to know how to protect the ones you love!
*Statistics from Federal Agencies, FBI, OBN, OATH, Salvation Army and Polaris