Working in Lab this Semester

Working on a human trafficking research lab has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. As a Millikin university student, I was eager to dive into a project that would allow me to make a meaningful impact. Little did I know, this project would be a journey that would not only educate me but also leave a lasting impression on my heart... When I first started on this project, I had certain expectations and preconceptions about human trafficking. However, as I delved deeper into the research, I was confronted with the harsh realities of this global epidemic. Our team was tasked with delving into the dark world of human trafficking. We spent countless hours researching and analyzing data. I was shocked by the complexity of human trafficking, and the ways in which it affects individuals, communities, and societies worldwide. 

The statistics, case studies, and different forms of trafficking revealed a staggering truth that could not be ignored. One of the most significant aspects of this experience has been the emotional toll it has taken. Learning about the suffering and exploitation of human trafficking feelings would sometimes give me feelings of sadness, and frustration. At times, I felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of the issue and a sense of helplessness. Yet, amidst these emotions, I found resilience and a renewed determination to make a difference. This project has not only enhanced my research skills and knowledge but also instilled in me a sense of purpose and responsibility. It has reminded me that even in the face of darkness and injustice, there is always hope for change and progress. One aspect of our research that has been eye opening is the issue of accountability, especially regarding law enforcement's response to human trafficking. While we often think of traffickers as the primary perpetrators, it's crucial to acknowledge the role that systemic failures and corruption can play in perpetuating this crime. I've become more passionate about advocating and working towards effective solutions to combat trafficking in all its forms. In some cases, law enforcement agencies have been negligent in their handling of human trafficking cases, particularly those involving sex trafficking. 

Working alongside peers has not only enriched my experience but also reinforced the importance of collective action in addressing critical issues. Together, we've shared insights, supported one another, and contributed to the growing body of knowledge on this pressing issue. Despite the realities I’ve encountered, I remain hopeful for the future. This research reminded me that behind every statistic and legal case is a human story a story of exploitation, abuse, and resilience. Our work is not just about gathering data, but about shedding light on the realities of human trafficking and advocating for justice and support for its victims. So today I urge you, dear reader, to join us in the fight against human trafficking. Whether it's volunteering with local organizations, donating to anti-trafficking initiatives, or educating yourself and others about the issue, every action counts. Together, we can create a world where exploitation and trafficking are no longer tolerated. 

Aliyah Houston

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