A voice full of harmony says, "Keep on living, I am life itself! Your heaven is in my eyes! You are not alone.
- Act III, Andrea Chenier
"Serious sound for serious problems"
I didnt want to get involved. The crisis seemed too big and too terrifying. Then, I couldn't ignore the problem any more. Join me, and use YOUR voice in the global fight against child trafficking and modern slavery. You don't even have to be an opera singer.
We've seen and heard the numbers: 25 million people around the world are subject to human trafficking, according to the 2020 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report. These victims have to undergo the most vile and painful experiences imaginable, leading to long-run trauma that adversely affects their mental health and self-esteem -- if they ever get broken free. That inevitably also impacts their employment opportunities and propensity to thrive in their lives.
Unfortunately, governments and organizations have largely turned a blind eye, remarking that it's not their responsibility. However, there is an increasing recognition that this has to change: trafficking is happening under their watch. For example, a lawsuit was filed against MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub, for partnering with a website called GirlsDoPorn, which was trafficking women and girls until it was eventually shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These instances are flagrant violations of individual liberty, creating untold harm and misery among the victims and propagating lethal habits among the consumers of these services.
What can we do about this global challenge? While each of us individually might not have the power to fix it overnight, we can all be part of the solution.
In 2020, I began a new project in partnership with Full Sail University, produced by Grammy nominated sound engineer Darren Schneider that will combine data, story, and sound to bring awareness to this horrific "industry". This resource, which combine classical opera, electronic sound, and spoken word poetry, will be made available to anti-child slavery and anti-human trafficking organizations to use in their multimedia presentations and fundraisers.
My heart is to represent and empower survivors of trafficking by taking their stories to the frontlines of policy to motivate lasting change and to serve as a more effective advocate for those who are voiceless among us. For more information on how you can fight trafficking, please refer to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, where I am proud to serve on the Council of Advisers.