Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Diamond Jubilee in numbers

Every morning I like to look at what's happening in the world and my news-source of choice is BBC News. This past week BBC has been very patriotic, in fact, Thursday was the first time in almost a week that the queen's face didn't beam royally at me from the webpage.

After four days of country-wide events to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, London has finally settled back into life as usual. For much of this past week and weekend the world has had its eyes on London as Queen Elizabeth II and the whole country celebrated her 60 years on the throne.

There have been some interesting numbers that have come out of the event: four days of celebration, an 86-year-old monarch, 60 years on the throne. Some of the most talked-of numbers concern the costs of the jubilee celebration: a £12 million pageant, an £80 million yatch and a £1.2 billion bank holiday (according to Bloomberg Businessweek).

I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the numbers and costs of human trafficking...

About 2.5million people are in forced labor as a result of trafficking.

An estimated 1.2million children are trafficked each year.

The global annual profits from the exploitation of trafficked forced labor comes to close to US$31.6 billion.*

These are pretty dismal numbers but there are good numbers too. While we may not be able to see the dent made to human trafficking on the global level, there are countless examples in countries around the world, of human trafficking victories. Here are some encouraging numbers from right here in Massachusetts:

Six months ago (Nov. 21) Gov. Deval Patrick signed an anti-human trafficking law for Massachusetts and in March four arrests were made under the new legislation.

It will now cost a buyer a minimum of $1,000 to have sex with a prostitute in Massachusetts. 

There are about 80 communities that run “john schools”, with classes that teach first-time offenders the realities of the sex trade and warn them of possible penalties. 

And for the encouraging numbers from Amirah itself just look at Emily's most recent post: Over $300 000 raised, 44 monthly donors and four storage spaces full of donations!

So even though the costs are high and the global numbers can be discouraging, we also have many things to celebrate, just like the Queen Elizabeth and her country. So let's celebrate and keep fighting.

*Figures according to the UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
Masslive.com, "Anti-human trafficking law signed by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick."
Boston.com, "Four arrested under Mass. human trafficking law."
Boston.com, "Want to buy sex in Massachusetts? Think again."

Rachel is originally from Zimbabwe and recently graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, MA where she studied International Development and Communication Arts. She is currently living, writing and working in the Northshore area.

To learn more about Amirah, or to support our work, please visit www.amirahboston.org .
Amirah, Inc.
PO Box 760867
Melrose, MA 02176

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