HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE TIME OF TRUMPPosted on December 1, 2017
"INCIVILITY: A VISUAL RESPONSE"
Opening December 1st at El Museo Gallery is a group show of challenging art in support of the International Institute of Buffalo for their efforts to aid Buffalo Refugees. The show is up until December 9th with a closing reception and call for winter clothing donations. El Museo is at 91 Allen Street, Buffalo.
My entry is a large mixed media drawing of figures in a borderland setting. The composition grew out of my feelings on the plight of women and girls around the world.
The president’s negative stance on immigrants has caused distress for many. One vulnerable group affected by the ban that hasn’t gotten as much attention as others is the victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is essentially a form of modern slavery, in which people are coerced, lured or kidnapped into unpaid or underpaid labor (including, but not limited to, sex work). It is estimated that some 50,000 women and girls are brought into the U.S. each year.
In 2000, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was designed to combat human trafficking, as well as to extend a helping hand to victims in the U.S. Under these laws, if you can prove that you’re a victim of human trafficking, you can be entitled to a number of benefits, including a visa to stay in the U.S., not only for yourself, but also potentially for your spouse and children. So if you’re a foreign-born trafficking victim who has escaped your situation, you can work to prosecute your traffickers in U.S. courts, thereby preventing them from victimizing other people.
Now under Trump’s executive order, trafficking victims are fearful of being considered criminals rather than victims when they reach out for help. One of the most effective tools that traffickers use to maintain control over someone and make them fearful of seeking help–besides violence–is the threat of the legal system, of law enforcement, or the threat of deportation back to the country they fear. Trump has created a climate where people in trafficking situations are even more powerless.
All are welcome to tonight's opening reception from 7 - 9 pm. All feedback is welcome!