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Slavery remains a current issue, not in the past

Right now an online petition launched by the Southern Poverty Law Center seeks to get Alabama and four other states to drop holidays that honor Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. The petition says that these men honored the preservation of slavery and our country should not be celebrating that.

What many Alabamians may not realize is there are actually more people enslaved today worldwide then ever before in history. According to statistics, there are more than 27 million (some statistics say 36 million) people enslaved worldwide, many in the sex trade.

Slavery does not discriminate. It is not a matter of race; it is a matter of inhumanity. There are men, woman, boys and girls trapped in slavery and it doesn’t matter what their age is, their background, their religion or any other factor. They are simply seen as something to be sold and bought.

The WellHouse, a safe house for sexually exploited women, is located in Alabama and makes efforts to rescue women trapped in sexual slavery. One of the major roads used for trafficking, I-29, runs right through our state. And this doesn’t mean that girls and boys are bought from across the globe and brought here. Yes, that happens; however, girls and boys are bought and sold from here, as well.

Recent events have once again raised the issues of our state and our country’s past, particularly as relates to slavery and racism. But sexual slavery continues to be a growing issue worldwide, and its moreso a problem now than ever before. Let’s work on stopping the cruelty that is happening now instead of trying to erase the past. Let’s fight for the ones enslaved now and put that to an end.

For more information on the WellHouse, visit www.the-wellhouse.org.