In 2016, 40.3 million people were victims of human trafficking, according to the International Labour Organization.
Of that number, 15.4 million were in a forced marriage and 4.8 million were people in forced sexual exploitation. One in four of the victims were children.
Last year USA Today reported that with one in seven reported runaways in 2018 a victim of child sex trafficking, it has become a billion-dollar industry worldwide.
While traffickers work in the shadows and through hidden channels to supply this nefarious industry, there are also groups — such as Operation Underground Railroad — that seek them out, free victims and help survivors get their lives back.
And Kenosha residents have an opportunity to help in that process.
On Saturday, Pennoyer Park will serve as the site of “Songs of Freedom,” a one-day music festival with all of the proceeds going toward helping victims of human trafficking through Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit that works across the world to rescue children that have been enslaved. The organization has helped almost 3,000 children and arrested over 1,500 with the help of law enforcement.
Thirteen local musical acts will perform throughout the day, including Earthmother, Would You Kindly?, Spare Animals and Rust Belt. Betsy Ade & the Well Known Strangers will headline the show.
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at www.oursongsoffreedom.org.
The need to fight against human trafficking and help survivors has been a push in the past year in Kenosha County with the announcement that Selah Freedom, a Florida-based charity organization with a mission to end sex trafficking, is opening a safe house here.
It will be the organization’s newest and largest safe house in the country, offering a residential program for survivors and implementing numerous core initiatives in educational planning, job placement, trauma therapy, life skills and medical assistance.
Selah Freedom launched a national fundraising effort for the project, while local subcontractors generously donated supplies and their work. Volunteers from numerous area locations assisted in all aspects of getting the safe house ready.
On Saturday you can enjoy great music and show that our community stands behind those who are working daily to end the heinous act of human trafficking.
PHOTOS: Lincoln Park Live: Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers
Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers — a band made up of Ade on vocals, Cameron Fair on cello and piano, Brittany Lumley playing multiple instruments and backing vocals, Roger Gower Jr. on drums, John Kulas on the bass and Joe Adamek on lead guitar — played a two-hour set at the latest installment of Lincoln Park Live in Lincoln Park, 6900 18th Ave., on Tuesday, July 17.
Here are a roundup of photos of the band performing at the event.
Betsy Ade and the Well-Known Strangers, seen here performing in Lincoln Park during the summer, are playing in Pennoyer Park Saturday as part …