Special chapel raises awareness of human trafficking issue

The Trinity Students for Social Justice (TSSJ) hosted a special chapel to raise awareness of the global issue of human trafficking the morning of Thursday, February 1.

TSSJ was organized as a forum for students to address social issues, and the topic of human trafficking is a global problem that strikes close to home, students noted during the service. Students presented examples of how the human trafficking problem has manifest itself throughout the world. Case studies included the importation of young women from eastern European countries into Germany to be forced to work as prostitutes during the most recent World Cup. Young boys have also been forced to work under difficult and dangerous conditions in the camel racing industry in the Middle East. To highlight these real-life examples, various students stood up and took on the role of victims of human trafficking to explain its impact from a first-person perspective.

Throughout the presentation, students learned that trafficking involves the transfer or sale of human beings into situations where they are forced into labour or used as sex slaves. While many of the victims come from underprivileged countries, their exploitation often takes place in first world countries or for the benefit of first world consumers. Human trafficking also leads to other social issues, including rising rates of HIV/AIDS amongst unprotected victims of forced prostitution. Although the United Nations introduce a protocol on human trafficking in 2000, the problem remains largely unrecognized and those responsible, including organized crime groups, often go unpunished, students learned.

To further educate students, TSSJ showed the film Human Trafficking, starring Donald Sutherland and Mira Sorvino, in the LeVan Hall dance studio on Thursday evening.

Thursday morning's chapel also marked the first anniversary of the death of former Junior School principal Charles Tottenham. Mr. Tottenham, who worked at the School for more than 40 years and then continued to reside on campus during his later years, was represented by his son, Tim Tottenham '67, also a former faculty member and past parent of TCS. A special hymn was sung in Mr. Tottenham's honour and the chair reserved for the head of the Junior School was left empty in remembrance of his enduring importance to the TCS family.