On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the IB World Literature students heard a speaker give a presentation on human trafficking. His name was Jeffrey Pankratz, president of Justice Ventures International (JVI). JVI partners with other organizations to help people who are stuck in the human trafficking system in India and China. JVI ensures justice through legal casework and also strengthens freedom, businesses and organizations.
Pankratz shared stories of rescues, his experiences with JVI and India, and other’s experiences with human trafficking. He highlighted the fact that human trafficking isn’t just sexual trafficking. Many of the stories he shared dealt with labor and agriculture trafficking. There were sad stories and uplifting ones. Pankratz’s favorite story was of a young woman who was trapped in the human trafficking world, was then freed by JVI, and went on to become her city’s mayor, despite her previous captors running and advocating against her.
The students were shown videos of different programs JVI associates with, one of which brings meals and education to children in the poorest of slums in India through the form of a bus. The children board the bus, eat their food, and receive an education. When the children get too old for the bus, they can participate in a program that exposes them to sports. The hope of this program is to introduce something positive into the adolescents’ lives. Both of these programs instill goals and hopes in the children to go beyond the slums and reach for their dreams.
Pankratz was open to questions after the presentation. Several students asked him questions about his own experiences in India, how JVI specifically deals with certain high-risk cases and even how capitalism links to human trafficking. When asked how students can get involved, Pankratz told the students about the freedom shop on the JVI website. The bags, jewelry and clothes sold on the websites are made by those who were formerly enslaved in human trafficking and helps raise awareness for human trafficking. All proceeds go to the organizations Free the Captive and Fight the Trafficker.
JVI is committed to ending modern day slavery through Christian faith, commitment to the poor and oppressed, respect for cultural diversity, local leadership and global engagement. In 2016 alone, they impacted over 5,000 people in the human trafficking industry and continue to impact more every day.
To learn more about JVI and view the Freedom Shop, visit http://www.justiceventures.org/
To view a video on JVI, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lq_BAbl9VI&feature=youtu.be