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Post by: Anna Edwards

In my time as a member of the student staff for the Center for Global Justice over the past two months, I have been challenged and deeply humbled by the projects I have had the opportunity to work on. This semester I have had the honor of working on projects for the International Justice Mission. The first project my team is working on concerns the issue of human trafficking in Eastern Europe. My team has taken on various researching roles to supply the IJM Eastern Europe office with information regarding current and recent statistics on human trafficking victims, discrepancies in reported victim statistics, and prosecution standards for trafficking in Romania. Other members of my team have researched the civil remedies that are available for individuals that were trafficked.

My specific task this semester is researching and identifying the number of reported victims of human trafficking in Eastern European countries.  As my semester has progressed, many things in my research have deeply moved me. The thing that has most significantly impacted me this semester is the sheer volume of individuals in the world today that are affected by human trafficking. The number of victims of human trafficking throughout one region of the world sobered me to the harsh reality of the broken world we inhabit. When researching statistics, it can be tempting to simply see numbers and become numb to the reality at hand. However, when I truly began to realize that the numbers I was collecting and analyzing represent individual people, I was faced with grief and astonishment. Often, it is easier to detach from the emotions of researching an issue that is heavy than to maintain an honest perspective about the realities of human trafficking.  However, I have discovered that hope is imbedded even in the statistics.

In my research, I began to see God’s redemption become evident. Although the number of victims throughout Eastern Europe is high, the number in some countries have decreased in the last two years. When every number represents an individual life that remains free from oppression, there is something to be celebrated in the fight against human trafficking. I have also found that most countries are acknowledging the tragedy of human trafficking in their country and have implemented various measures and policies to prevent the advancement of human trafficking as well as provide aid and relief to victims. However, there is still significant work to be done because in other countries, the number of victims is increasing, and some countries remain hesitant to fully acknowledge the issue of human trafficking within their border. However, I am reminded that various people and organizations around the world, with different levels of influence, are actively fighting in the war on human trafficking. Victims are seeking justice against their oppressors and advocating for others to acknowledge the problem in our society of oppression and become involved. These small movements towards freedom multiply hope for all individuals affected by human trafficking. I am humbled to be apart a team of law students at Regent that have been entrusted in joining the fight against human trafficking and providing research to organizations like the IJM so that the hope of freedom will continue to be multiplied in lives across the globe.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff Member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.