I would like to invite you to be part of a special event focusing on the need to end human trafficking in Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, April 3 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Chester County Historical Society, I will convene a bipartisan Call to Action to push for new anti-human trafficking legislation.
I have partnered with the Chester County Historical Society for this Call to Action as its building historically has been a center for abolitionist speeches and anti-slavery gatherings during the Civil War era.
Some of you may have attended January’s “Facing the Monster” event at the historical society designed to raise the awareness of the scourge of human trafficking. This Call to Action is the next step – a grassroots gathering and public display of support for Senate Bill 75, of which I am a co-sponsor, legislation that would improve and better define Pennsylvania’s human trafficking laws. The event will feature several guest speakers from the faith community, as well as state Senator Stewart Greenleaf, the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 75.
The number of victims of human trafficking worldwide is estimated at 12 million, according to the U.S. Department of State. In fact, there are more than 100,000 American citizens – mostly young girls – trafficked for prostitution within the U.S. each year, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Additionally, tens of thousands of undocumented citizens in our nation are in a situation of forced labor in sweatshops and agricultural work.
Our region is not immune to this epidemic. The Philadelphia region has been identified as one of the major hubs of human trafficking in America. We have defined the problem. Now it is time for us to demand a solution.
More than 150 years ago, our region was very much the center of the abolitionist movement and the center of the Underground Railroad. If we are to fully respect that history and the work of those who came before us and the rich Quaker heritage of Chester County, we have an obligation to commit ourselves to the end of modern-day slavery.
Please join us at the April 3rd Call to Action event. Let’s work to pass Senate Bill 75 in Pennsylvania and help put an end to human trafficking and relegate slavery to the annals of history once and for all.
It is important that we as a community come together in the name of hope and freedom.
P.S. – Please read the guest column that Senator Greenleaf and I recently wrote about the need to pass Senate Bill 75.
Offices of State
Senator Andy Dinniman