Here on campus, the International Justice Mission group meets on a weekly basis to plan events and discuss topics related to human trafficking and slavery.
One of the big events that the organization plans is Justice Week, which occurred in the first week of April.
Maggie Burie, sophomore communication science and disorders major, is a member of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point chapter.
“Justice Week was four days. There were different events each day that highlighted what IJM is as an organization and what slavery is around the world,” Burie said.
As an organization, one of the recent events that International Justice Mission has planned is the Rally For Freedom.
The goal of the Rally for Freedom is to get International Justice Mission chapters to host rallies in which people come together to promote funding for the End Modern Slavery Initiative, or EMSI.
According to freedomcommons.ijm.org the initiative will give funding to different programs such as ones that help free slaves and ensure that, by law, slave owners and traffickers are held accountable for their actions.
EMSI has not received the maximum amount of funding that Congress can allocate to the foundation. The Rally for Freedom is an event dedicated to advocating that EMSI is fully funded.
UWSP’s chapter is considering setting up a booth in the Dreyfus University Center, where students can sign the Rally for Freedom petition. Currently there is no set date for the petition signing.
Burie is passionate about globally ending human trafficking and slavery, but admitted that it is an issue that is not always given a lot of attention.
“I think it’s a lack of awareness. I wasn’t aware that human slavery still existed until I was fifteen and heard someone else talk about it,” said Burie.
According to Burie, some of the countries that slavery is most prominent in are India, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Elsa Jensson, sophomore communication major, is also a member of the UWSP chapter.
Jensson got involved with the organization in hopes of taking action and becoming an advocate for those that are not in a position to advocate for themselves.
“As a college student, it’s easy to think that we don’t have an influence and that we are just one person and we can’t do a lot of things,” Jensson said.
Jensson believes that college students can be influential and that signing the Rally for Freedom petition gives students the opportunity to make a difference.
“For people that don’t know about these topics, don’t be afraid to learn more about it and become more aware of these situations and consider signing the petition,” Jensson said. “It’s not hurting anybody to sign.”