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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: PSU students aim to bring awareness to human trafficking in a 27-hour fundraiser

  • Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which put an end to slavery. Right? Wrong. Slavery is alive and well in the modern world.

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  • Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which put an end to slavery. Right? Wrong. Slavery is alive and well in the modern world.
    “There are 27 million people trapped in slavery and forced into human trafficking around the world today, including in Kansas,” said Lindsey Lockhart, Pittsburg State University freshman from Salina.
    She is the events coordinator for the PSU student chapter of  the International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression.
    “We didn’t know about the 27 million until 22 of us went to the Passion 2013 Conference in the Atlanta, Ga., Dome,” Lockhart said.
    The 60,000 college-age students there spent time in worship and fellowship with other Christians, but also learned the ugly truth about slavery.
    “When we came back from Christmas break, we just couldn’t get it off our minds,” Lockhart said. “We felt, along with many others attending, the call to continue shining light on slavery.”
    The PSU International Justice Mission will host a 27-hour awareness and fundraising  event, “Stand for Freedom,” from 9 a.m. Monday to noon Tuesday on the PSU Oval.
    “Any PSU student who is interested, and anyone from the community, are welcome to come and stand with us,” Lockhart said.
    She said that slavery can take several forms.
    “There’s a lot of forced labor in some of the Asian countries,” Lockhart said. “Human trafficking usually involves the sex industry.”
    Young women, sometimes in their early teens, may be promised well-paying jobs as maids, but instead find themselves forced into prostitution.
    “There have been cases in Kansas City and Wichita, and in St. Louis,” Lockhart said.
    The International Justice Mission conducts professional investigations and actually frees slaves, according to Lockhart.
    “In India, they went into a place expecting to free 15 people, and ended up freeing 150,” she said.
    Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to come out during “Stand for Freedom.”
    “We’ll be doing several things during the event,” Lockhart said. “We’ll have a meal at 5 p.m. Monday, then a movie at 8 p.m. and a candlelight vigil at 10 p.m.
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