Originally from China, I felt the huge differences between China and the U.S. in terms of human trafficking.
Trafficking in China is a much more complicated issue. It is not just money-driven. The social reasons behind trafficking vary when it comes to single case.
While Americans are calling for equality, China is one of the countries that many still hold the stereotype: "Men are superior to women." This statement leads to inequality throughout the society: There are all-men-no-women villages; there are girls being abandoned because of their gender; there are parents selling their sons to those families which don't have one; and there are young females being trafficked to rural areas for marriages and pregnancy. Things are actually happening on the other side of the world.
But I had never thought about the same thing would happen in the U.S. when I arrived at this land of freedom.
Thanks to my previous project, I was able to get in touch with experts and organizations. I was surprised by the fact that few people were educated about human trafficking, and the majority have not even heard of the term.
And media, one of whose responsibilities is to inform the public, only covers cold statistics or willing-to-share survivors, but seldom pays attention to survivors' post-trafficked lives. Almost every survivor has been through the troubles of social welfare. For example, it's really hard for survivors to gain medical care and social welfare when they go back to normal life.
What's worse, some survivors can never gain justice from laws, as it's difficult to define whether a trafficker is a trafficker (How ridiculous!). Especially for sex trafficking victims, they may be charged with prostitution even they were forced to be prostitutes. And if these victims are sex trafficked at a very young age, they may not know how to make a living after they are rescued.
But there is still a group of people caring about trafficking and trying to change. The past months I have met a lot of new friends from the coalition who are willing to share and to give.
Joy is one of these people. She is a survivor. When we walked out of building after a meeting, Joy gave me a hug, looked into my eyes, and said:
"I know you can see the world changes, and I know you can change the world."