ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As many people around Rochester celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, leaders with Angels of Mercy used the day to talk about a human rights issue that’s been related to modern-day slavery.
Between 20 to 40 million people worldwide are estimated to be involved in some kind of human trafficking and it happens everywhere — even here in Rochester.
Now based in Rochester, the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative is helping to fight human trafficking, calling it modern-day slavery.
“Trafficking is tied in a sense to poverty, it’s tied to a lot of things but there’s nothing that it’s more related to than someone trying to make a profit off someone else,” Executive Vice President and Co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative Robert Benz said.
Anti-trafficking was the focus of a documentary screening at Angels of Mercy.
Founder Mary-Jo Colligan, said educational events like this allow people to learn more about the reach of human trafficking.
“People think of human trafficking as happening somewhere, but it does happen in our own back yard,” said Mary-Jo Colligan, president and founder of Angels of Mercy.
Leaders said the event brings awareness to a human rights crisis, something that goes right along with the goal of the Martin Luther King Holiday.
“Martin Luther King, he did so much for not only our country but for the world,” said Colligan. “We need to continue on in that spirit and let people know, you know, what’s happening. That there is something good that can come out of it.”
Leaders with Angles of Mercy say they will continue to bring awareness to human rights issues.