The End It Movement is about human trafficking.
Local photographer Kenny Felt decided to get involved in bringing awareness to the human rights issue.
“I don’t know a lot, but I know enough to be scared of it,” Felt said.
“It’s hard to get a number of victims because it’s a hidden practice,” he said. “The victims aren’t known, have no voice or ability to speak out.”
“How many times have we seen something and did nothing,” Felt said. “This is my attempt to bring awareness.”
The red x symbol was designed to spark a conversation, he said.
February 22 is “Shine A Light On Slavery Day”.
“I don’t have the ability to do much, but I can take pictures and post them on Feb. 22,” Felt said.
He set a goal to get 50 photos of local people with a red x painted on them.
“More than that have joined in so far,” Felt said.
Each participant posts on their own social media.
“I will post a movie gallery on my Facebook page on Feb. 22,” he said.
To have a free photo taken by Felt to post on social media in support of this cause, he is available to take photos for this project at his studio 13 N. North Main:
Tuesday, Feb. 20 – 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 21 – 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thursday, Feb. 22 – 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the criminal activity of holding another person for the purposes of exploitation through forced labor and sex trafficking, according to a Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) website: dol.ks.gov/HumanTrafficking.
Even here in Kansas, men, women, and children are forced to work for long hours under deplorable conditions for little or no pay without the freedom to leave, according to the KDOL website.
Notice to Victims of Human Trafficking
If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave – whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work or any other activity – call the toll-free National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1‑888‑373‑7888 to access help and services, according to the website. The toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and available in many languages.
Indicators of Human Trafficking
According to the Department of Homeland Security at dhs.gov/blue-campaign here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking:
- Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
- Has a child stopped attending school?
- Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
- Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
- Is the person confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
- Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
- Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
- Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
- Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
- Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
- Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
- Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
- Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.