Nick Veronesi / The Daily Gamecock

Student Government recognizes human trafficking in SC

Members of the International Justice Mission were presented with a Student Government resolution condemning human trafficking in South Carolina as part of the Student Senate's final meeting of the semester.

The bill, passed in early November, declares that the Palmetto State is "one of the worst states for human trafficking" and that Richland County is a "major hotbed."

For third-year global studies and Spanish student Megan Rigabar, the president of International Justice Mission, a move like this is a step in the right direction on campus and in South Carolina as a whole.

"[We] worked with Student Government officials to craft this legislation with the aim of raising awareness within the student body for this crime," she said.

The legislation specifically praises the work of IJM as well as that of the Richland County Anti-Trafficking Task. 

"I think it's a really important step," Rigabar said. "Specifically in our state."

Student Senator Colin John, who worked with IJM to pass the bill, told Wednesday's meeting that IJM members are "doing the Lord's work."

Rigabar is optimistic that attention like this bill will help her organizations and those like it to grow their footprint in and around campus.

"I think still there is a lack of awareness among much of the student body," she said. "I think having Student Government formally recognizing this as an issue hopefully will mobilize students to not only go to learn about the crime but possibly join us in our efforts or possibly take up their own cause to really fight and stand up for survivors of human trafficking." 

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