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Our View: Trafficking event worthy

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

Whether your politics tilt right, left or balance in between, we applaud the local Patriots United group for holding an event Saturday to spotlight the disturbing topic of human trafficking.

Several community leaders, including a past and current congressman, are expected to be in attendance at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at D’Andrea Banquets, 4419 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

We’re not sure how big of an issue human trafficking is locally. There haven’t been many examples of what law enforcement considers human trafficking in the news, but it would be naive to believe that it can’t or doesn’t happen in McHenry County.

One of the darker stories from last weekend’s Super Bowl was news that 16 juveniles were rescued and 45 pimps were charged in connection with a prostitution sting in the New York area.

Experts estimate that more than 100,000 children are forced into prostitution each year in the U.S. They also estimate that between 16,000 and 25,000 women and girls are exploited by sex traffickers in the Chicago area each year. To call it “modern-day slavery” isn’t hyperbole.

Saturday’s keynote speaker, Laila Mickelwait, director of awareness and prevention from the anti-trafficking organization Exodus Cry, should be able to provide meaningful context to the issue globally, nationally and locally.

Human trafficking isn’t a liberal or conservative issue. It’s a moral issue that should concern us all. We hope Saturday’s event raises awareness and helps make a dent in this despicable trade.

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