Google, the world’s largest search engine, has joined the fight against modern day slavery and human trafficking. Google announced that it was gifting $11.5 million dollars to 10 different organizations to directly save lives. CNN quotes expert estimates as saying that Google’s gift will save an estimated 12,000 people from bondage and prevent millions more from being taken. Estimates from Human Rights Organizations puts the number of human slaves around the world at between 1 and 30 million.
Jacquelline Fuller, Google’s Director of Charitable Giving said the company made the decision to give the money to highlight the cause of slavery because it represents an issue of Freedom which is very important to Google employees throughout the world.
“Many people are surprised to learn there are more people trapped in slavery today than any time in history,” Fuller said. “The good news is that there are solutions. Google is supporting organizations that have a proven track record and a plan to make a difference at scale.”
The $11.5 million dollars is part of a $40 million dollar charitable commitment Google has made this holiday season.
Human trafficking is a problem that effects every country in the world. The US State Department issues a report every year in which they classify countries based on the level of commitment they make to combating human trafficking and slavery. Countries who stay on the list for too long without improvement risk being excluded from certain types of US aid.
In an interview with a social worker who works with people rescued from the slave masters (she asked to remain anonymous as to not risk the girls she works with). She old a story of how slaves are brought into western countries through Europe.
Women answer ads in local papers in places like Russia, China and Vietnam for for babysitters and home care givers. They are offered a salary and given a description of the job. They then board a plane to either the Ukraine or some eastern European countries for “training”. When they arrive there their passports are confiscated and they are given a choice, work as prostitutes or be killed. The women are then brought to the Western countries and forced to work in brothels for 12-14 hours a day with almost all of the money going to the crime gangs who brought them.
These girls are told that if they go to the police, they will be deported and the slave masters will have someone waiting for them back in their home countries or they will go after the girls families.
Even in the US there are an estimated 17,000 women forced into slavery every year.
Google, with this donation, is really helping to fight the problem and should be commended.
How do you feel about Google’s gift and the cause of stopping modern day slavery?