Ball State International Justice Mission chapter members are standing for 24 hours at the Scramble Light for freedom. The group is bringing awareness to human trafficking from noon on April 12 to noon on April 13. DN PHOTO SARA BARKER
International Justice Mission stands for 24 hours to raise awareness on human trafficking
Members of Ball State’s International Justice Mission chapter are taking a 24-hour stand for freedom.
From noon on April 12 to noon on April 13, members will stand at the Scramble Light to bring awareness to human trafficking.
IJM is an international organization that aids victims of violence, concentrating on the developing world, according to their website. They work with legislation globally to combat violence, including violence caused by human trafficking.
What: 24-hour stand for freedom
Where: Scramble Light
When: Noon on April 12 to noon on April 13
Why: To raise awareness about human trafficking
Lauren Baney, a senior health science major and president of the IJM chapter at Ball State, said human trafficking is essentially modern-day slavery.
“It looks a little different here in the United States than you would probably think in other countries, where it’s like child prostitution and you see a lot in under 18 age girls," Baney said.
Members of IJM are selling T-shirts emblazoned with “Justice BSU” and a Batman-like design. They sell for $10, with the profits going to the IJM campus chapter fund to pay for outside speakers and spaces to hold events.
It was one of these events that inspired Baney to work with IJM. She was invited to hear a speaker her freshman year, and she knew she wanted to do something about it.
She stayed with it because of her passion for her work.
“I am a summer camp counselor, and I work with girls who are teenagers, which is a very common age that people would find themselves in human trafficking in the United States,“ she said. “I think a lot of times the children aspect of it — of the kids who don’t have a childhood because of this — are the things that push me to keep going.”
Human trafficking occurs when someone takes action to employ means of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of sex trafficking and labor trafficking, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
There are around 35.8 million people who are enslaved in the world today, with more than 60,000 in the U.S., according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index.
Kurt Green, a junior architecture major and vice president of the IJM chapter, said being a part of IJM has taught him the effect of his actions on others.
“I want to give that [lesson] to other students, and I want them to learn through IJM,” Green said. “We’re putting ourselves out there just to give people an idea of what human trafficking is and invite them to join us if they want."