Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting to know you: Megan McGill

I am a recent graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, and have had a growing interest in human rights for several years. I have been impressed by the Human Trafficking Project, and am excited for the opportunity to be involved. The more I learn about human trafficking specifically, the more I am struck by the enormity and frequently horrific nature of the problem, and the more I feel compelled to do something.

I think I first began to pay attention to the human trafficking problem in 2006, when I was studying public international law in Geneva. It was during the World Cup, and I met someone who worked for the British government in anti-human trafficking. He told me how tens of thousands of females were expected to be trafficked into Germany for the games. Referring to the huge number of sex trafficking “patrons” that number implied, he said that “people assume that it isn’t their husband or it isn’t their brother, but with that many females being trafficked into the country, it IS somebody’s husband and it IS somebody’s brother.”

I was stunned—I'd had no clue what a vast problem human trafficking is before that conversation. But I think that he struck on an important point—the sheer numbers expected for that event alone is just one example which makes me suspect that one reason the human trafficking industry, in particular the sex trafficking industry, is so successful is that those spending the money that support it may not always realize that there is a chance that the person with whom they are engaging is a less-than-willing victim. For this reason, I think that promoting education and awareness is a vital first step in fighting human trafficking, and I believe that HTP can play an important role.

I am very excited to be joining HTP as a contributor, and to take my first step into the world of blogging. I hope to learn a lot as part of this experience, and to contribute in some small way to raising awareness about this widespread and urgent problem.

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