Yoga is typically used as a way to attain personal health but the LBC Yoga Mala’s Let Freedom Flow event is aiming to heal the mind, body and spirits of sex trafficking victims on a global level.
A dozen area yoga instructors will convene at the California State University, Long Beach oustide of the Walter Pyramid to lead participants in a series of 108 sun salutations at 10 a.m. October 27. Vendors, raffles for prizes and organic, eco-friendly goodie bags await attendees, as well as a $108 registration fee.
The cost breaks down to a $1 per salutation and all of it will go toward Off The Mat, Into the World for its annual Global Seva Challenge.
Since 2007, the nonprofit has raised more than $2 million for projects in countries like Haiti and Uganda through its challenge and this year, they’re focusing their grassroots efforts to address sex trafficking in India and beyond.
Sex trafficking knows no borders, and the problem is alive in well in America, where an estimated 1.6 million children under the age 18 were involved in the sex trade last year, according to an article by the Washington Post.
The average age for a sex trafficking victim is between 12 and 14, according to On the Mat.
The organization will use proceeds to address the needs shared by the three-six million women and children currently enslaved as sex workers around the world, such as rescue, shelter and rehabilitation.
Money will also assist victims who require therapy, legal advocacy and medical attention for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Additionally, funds will also go toward job training and empowerment for survivors.
But of course, nothing changes without education and awareneness, which is what the Let Freedom Flow event is aiming to do in the Long Beach community.
Registration is available online or at 9 a.m. the day of the event. For more information, click here, otherwise read on for facts on sex trafficking available through On the Mat’s web site:
- Shockingly, in the 21st century, in this age of freedom, more people are enslaved than at any other time in history. Some put the number at as high as 27 million.
- Sex trafficking is one of the three largest criminal industries, following just behind arms and drugs. The market value of sex trafficking is $32 billion.
- Conservatively, it’s estimated that 3 million women and children are enslaved for sex right now. Each is likely between the age of 12 and 14.
- Young children are often sold into slavery by their own parents. In desperation, due to extreme poverty, parents feel they have no other choice.
- In India, one of the hot beds of sex trade, children are sold into slavery as part of a religious tradition. Daughters are offered to temples as a gift. As young as eight or nine years old, these girls are used by priests for their sexual pleasure. When they’re older, they are sold into brothels.
- Poverty is one root cause of sex trafficking. Destitution makes people desperate and vulnerable. It leaves them searching for a way out. Traffickers prey on this.
- Police corruption is another. In many countries around the world, including India and Cambodia, police officers and government officials contribute to the growth of this industry. They visit brothels as customers and don’t enforce anti-trafficking laws.
- To push back against this growing and thriving criminal trade, we must address the root causes of trafficking; create stronger prosecution and enforcement of laws; help victims recover and reintegrate back into society; and shift some societies’ beliefs and values about women.