While it may seem like it’s a third-world issue, human trafficking victims are being exploited in our neighborhoods, hotels, at sporting events and many other local places that hit far too close to home.
According to the FBI, an estimated 15,000 to 18,000 people are being trafficked each year right here in the U.S. for purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation and a videographer in Kansas City, Missouri, has used his camera to demonstrate how prevalent the issue is here.
While studying film at the Tribeca Flashpoint Academy in Chicago, Jonathan Quigg produced a haunting PSA that, in under a minute, unveils the realities of the crime.
While walking down a busy city street, a pedestrian sees a young woman standing behind the glass of a storefront beseeching her for help. The pedestrian presses her hand against the edifice in an effort to reach out, but before she can even make contact, a man grabs the woman and hangs a "sold" sign on her.
Quigg, who hopes to one day do advocacy work with people at risk of being exploited in Thailand, told The Huffington Post that he hopes his PSA will awaken Americans to the fact that they can’t afford to ignore the issue.
"The main message of this video is quite simply that this is an issue that actually happens," Quigg told The Huffington Post in an email. "It might not be obvious, but it truly is happening both internationally and within the cities that we live."