Print This Post

RSO hosts week of events about human trafficking

Posted on 11.20.2013

The University of Indianapolis registered student organization Keys held a week of awareness about human trafficking Nov. 4-8.

Senior exercise science and psychology major and member of Keys SarahAnne Pelkey said that a lot of trafficking is going on in the world and in the United States that people do not know about. Pelkey also said that Keys’ goal is connecting the campus to the action.

Human Trafficking

Nathan Stoneking, one of the creators of the registered student organization Keys, discusses issues concerning human trafficking with a group of men in McCleary Chapel in the Schwitzer Student Center.

“By bringing people to campus, we were hoping that people could see some kind of tangible action or organization that they could get involved with,” she said.

On Nov. 4, Keys members took pictures of students with signs during lunch hours. Sophomore psychology major and president of Keys Michaela Thomas said that day was about people taking their own stand by taking a picture for freedom.

“It was giving everybody the chance to say that they cared about human trafficking and they cared that it is going on in the world,” Thomas said. “We were giving them a chance to really act on that.”

On Nov. 5, Keys had a panel discussion with a human trafficking survivor, IMPD detective Sergeant Jon Daggy and Assistant Professor of Psychology Lisa Elwood.

Daggy said that he was assigned to the human trafficking department seven years ago, but he is glad to be working against human trafficking.

“We were under a federal grant, and that is when we merged with another [department] over in the sheriff’s department,” Daggy said. “Human trafficking got put under me because it was not being done correctly.”

Three different types of human trafficking exist: sex trafficking, domestic servitude and labor trafficking. Daggy said that any large-population area deals more with sex trafficking.

“We deal with a lot of that [sex trafficking] in Indianapolis,” Daggy said. “So we find a lot of our human trafficking cases through that.”

Wednesday, Christian singer-songwriter Nick Stanton and the organizations Destiny Rescue, The Village Experience and the Center for Global Impact held a concert with refreshments and sold fair trade items.
Pelkey said that she was most excited about the people that Keys was able to bring to campus.

“My biggest excitement was that we brought in people that are professionally working with people that have been trafficked and who are also spreading awareness,” Pelkey said.

On Nov. 7, Keys, along with The Peak, held a discussion in McCleary Chapel that explored the harmful effects of pornography and its links to human trafficking.

On Nov. 8, Keys showed the 2012 documentary film “Rape for Profit,” which examines the exploitation of underage girls in the Seattle sex trade.

Thomas said that knowing is the first step to help end human trafficking, and that was what the week of awareness was about.

“It’s really important for us to know about the justice issue of human trafficking because nothing is going to get done until we know,”  Thomas said. “I think that people learned the most at the Tuesday and Friday [events], but people were going to really be able to put it into action on Wednesday night.”

Daggy said that human trafficking is there—it might not be in front of your face, but it’s out there—and that law enforcement needs to start investigating all across the country.

“We’re still not investigating it as much as we should. I’m not talking about Indy; I’m talking about the rural areas,” Daggy said. “Law enforcement still needs to catch up with human trafficking. We’re in the toddler stage, and it’s going to take a while before human trafficking is at the adult stage of investigating, where it’s investigated all the time in every department.”

Pelkey invites students to come to meetings to discuss and learn more about human trafficking. Keys meets every other Wednesday at 9 p.m. in Schwitzer 012.

“We just want people to get involved because this is a huge issue in our world,” Thomas said. “There is a new number that just came out that there are over 30 million slaves worldwide still today in an age where we think that slavery doesn’t exist.”


RSS Feed  Follow Us on Twitter  Facebook Profile