African Teen Victim of Modern Slavery
This year's 20 Teens includes: Human Trafficking Survivor and Activist Given Kachepa, 19, originally from Zambia, now living in Colleyville, TX, who is helping victims of modern day slavery, those who have fallen prey to human traffickers.
Additional information about Given:
Orphaned at age 9, brought to the United States at age 11 as part of a boys' choir, Zambian singer Given Kachepa was told he would raise money for Zambian schools, his siblings, a salary and an education. It was not to be - no schools were being built, no money was going to him or his family, and he and other boys were forced to sing 4-7 concerts a day. Food was withheld as a punishment and they received no education. Given became a victim of human trafficking, a modern-day slave. Rescued by INS in 2000, today Given seeks to make a difference to educate the public about this atrocity.
It is estimated that there are 27 million slaves in the world today, more than any other time in human history. Of those 13-17,000 are trafficked in the United States each year. Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves explains, "Slavery is not a horror safely consigned to the past; it continues to exist throughout the world, even in America. Slavery is not legal anywhere but thriving everywhere. Across the world slaves work and sweat and build and suffer."
In the United States slaves are controlled by violence, paid nothing, and forced to work in agriculture, domestic service, prostitution, restaurants, and begging. Bales states, "Criminals are clever, and most citizens can't see slavery even when it is in front of them. We desperately need voices like Given's to help America see the slavery that is hidden in plain sight."
Freed from slavery, Given explains, "In my heart, I resolved to help rid the world of the human trafficking. I do not want anyone else to suffer the mental brutality and psychological trauma victims endure. I feel traffickers should receive punishment for abusing lives of other people for their own benefit." Through newspapers, TV, speaking engagements, the internet, radio and magazines, Given wants the world to know Slavery Still Exists. Human Traffickers purchase human lives and dispose of them after they have earned their high profits. This is a global atrocity.
Now a college freshman, Given has been recognized with the prestigious Prudential Financial Spirit of Community Award, The Hitachi Foundation Yoshiyama Award, First Data Western Union Scholarship, Ronald McDonald Future Achievers for Black Students Scholarship and The Field Scovell Award.
He welcomes opportunities to educate the public about this global problem. If you observe a situation that looks like it could involve Human Trafficking, call the national trafficking hotline at 1-888-3737-888. To learn more about modern slavery, visit www.freetheslaves.net.
Learn more about how you can help by watching this DVD. HHS Rescue & Restore Training DVD Now Available www.humantrafficking.org/countries/eap/united_states/news/2005_08/hhs_training_dvd.html.
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