The New York Times
By Ariel Zwang
January 26, 2016
Re “Guardian Is Accused of Holding 2 Teenagers Captive and Forcing Them to Work” (news article, Jan. 13):
What these two young people in Queens allegedly went through illustrates an unsettling reality: Slavery is alive in America, and it can happen even next door. This form of abuse is hardly unusual. It is estimated that between 14, 500 and 17, 500 people are trafficked to the United States annually.
This case provides a powerful lesson. Were it not for the bravery of the assistant principal who noticed something was off and chose to investigate, these teenagers might have been exploited for many more years.
We at Safe Horizon, one of the largest providers of services for victims and survivors of human trafficking, know that countless survivors have been rescued thanks to the courage of ordinary people who chose not to ignore their suspicions. What should the average person do if he or she suspects human trafficking? Notify the authorities immediately, but avoid getting directly involved.
It appears that these young people had their freedom and childhoods stolen, allegedly by their guardian. Let’s work to ensure that such heinous abuse never happens to anyone.
Chief Executive, Safe Horizon