HUMAN TRAFFICKING – Essay Contest Won by Student at Lutheran Academy in Martin

“What is Human Trafficking?” is a program created by Slovak experts for presentation at primary and high schools. The main goal of this initiative is to raise the awareness of youth about this highly controversial issue. A competition was then sponsored for the best student essay on the topic. Lutheran Academy high school student Sabinka ŠIMKOVÁ was the winner of the contest and won a trip to Budapest, Hungary, where she took part in a three-day international study program on this topic. Sabinka’s essay was called “Forced Child Labor.”

The program “What is Human Trafficking” visited seven schools in different parts of Slovakia. A short film about victims of human trafficking was shown to more than 500 pupils. After the film, students were led in a discussion on related topics such as slavery, prostitution, trafficking in human organs, and forced labor. Five other schools organized their own events to explore the issue and were aided by educational materials sent to them by the expert team.

To involve boys and girls from Slovakia’s schools even more, a competition was sponsored for the best essay written on the issue. Students could choose from three topics: 1. Human Trafficking, 2. Exploitation, and 3. Child and Forced Labor. Experts selected the winning essay from among all those who had signed-up and selected Sabinka Simkova, an 11th grade student at Lutheran Academy in Martin. Reviewers said Simkova’s essay was “the best at highlighting the essential points of the subject.”

Sabinka Šimková (first from the right)

Because of her victory, Sabinka was invited to attend a three-day study program in Budapest in mid-November where she was able to further explore this issue. Sabinka particularly appreciated learning about those who are actively fighting against human trafficking. “My stay and study in Budapest opened my eyes to the topic of trafficking, which a lot of people have ignored. I heard breathtaking stories of women who were victims of trafficking and are now trying to rebuild their lives. I was also exposed to the whole process of assistance to these victims—from rescuing them to offering security and the opportunity to start a new life.” Smiling, Sabinka adds “I learned so much, even while spending three days in a beautiful city, for which I am very thankful.”

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