To the Editor:
In our politically divided nation, I think there’s one American value we can all agree on: everyone deserves to be free. On Tuesday, the State Department released the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks 187 countries on their efforts to combat human trafficking, including the U.S. This report sheds light on the hidden crime of modern-day slavery—a crime that holds more than 45 million men, women, and children in bondage. This is more people enslaved than in any other time in history. As the 19th century abolitionist William Wilberforce said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” What does this mean for us? For one thing, our members of Congress should recommit themselves to protecting the integrity of this report and the U.S. foreign aid programs that help rescue slaves and put traffickers behind bars. We should also be aware and alert of the everyday occurrences happening around us. With the 2018 Super Bowl being here in Minnesota, Minneapolis will be one of the top trafficking locations in the nation. We must be on guard to protect those who may be vulnerable and likely to fall into the trap of modern day slavery.
Hailey Gillett, Minnetonka