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Central High School students’ powerful exhibition at KMA raises awareness on Human Trafficking Problem

help meAnayancy Lopez, Central High School, 10th Grade, Help Me, Mixed Media.
help meBrooklyn Muncey, Central High School, 10th Grade, End Human Trafficking, Mixed Media
Casey Robbins, Central High School
10th Grade, Bondage, Acrylic on Canvas

The Knoxville Museum of Art presents a powerful exhibition by the Central High School National Art Honor Society students to bring awareness of the problem of human trafficking. The exhibition contains 15 artworks created under the instruction of teachers Phyllis Ball and Val Sigmon. The exhibition runs through July 31 and then moves to the Knox County Schools Office at the Andrew Johnson Building.

Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

Exploitation includes, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 U.S. States. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90. Approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 20% involves labor exploitation. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 13 years old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.

Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). Human trafficking generates a reported profit of $32 billion every year. Poverty and discrimination make children more vulnerable to human trafficking. Around the world today, it is estimated that there are 27 million victims of trafficking (Kevin Bales, Free the Slaves). 5.5 million are children. Child victims of trafficking are often exploited for sexual purposes or forced labor including prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, forced marriage, sweat-shop work, begging, armed service, and migrant farming. In the U.S., more citizens are victims of sex trafficking than labor trafficking. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.

The Knoxville Museum of Art admission and parking are free. For more information, visit

Published July 14, 2016

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