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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mall fair to benefit victims of trafficking

    Students will get a chance to support survivors of human trafficking today and tomorrow by viewing art and purchasing items on campus.

    Handicrafts such as jewelry, bags and notebooks made by survivors will be sold on the UA Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    The event is organized by the Social Justice League, a student organization that aims to expose and educate about human rights violations and global injustices.

    “”We’re the main student organization involved in the event, but there are a lot of other organizations working with us as well,”” said Hali Nurnberg, a sociology sophomore and president of the Social Justice League.

    Those organizations include the Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking, and Achieving Sustainable Social Equity Through Information and Computer Technology, he said.

    The product fair is part of a series of events that comprise Human Trafficking Week. Other events on campus include movie screenings, guest speakers and readings of stories written by trafficking victims.

    Nurnberg said she was inspired to organize the awareness week after attending a film screening and fair in Boston that featured products made by survivors.

    “”There really hasn’t been that much awareness on human trafficking here,”” Nurnberg said. “”We thought it would be really beneficial to the UA to organize the week.””

    Between 14,500 and 17,500 people, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the United States each year, according to the U.S. Department of State. Most are forced to work for little or no wages or become prostitutes.

    The Emancipation Network, a nonprofit organization that assists former victims of human trafficking, is sponsoring the fair. The organization helps survivors and people at high risk of being trafficked by providing them a means of self-sufficiency.

    One aspect of this is allowing survivors to sell their handicrafts online and through product fairs across the country.

    An art exhibit called “”Forgotten Girls”” will be on display accompanying the fair. It is comprised of a series of paintings portraying the sexual exploitation of women and girls who have been trafficked.

    The exhibit was on display in the Kachina Gallery of the Student Union Memorial Center until March 28.

    “”Anyone can stop by to check out the art show or browse through the products,”” Nurnberg said. “”We’re hoping a lot of people will stop by to show support for the issue.””

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