During my term as the MDRT Foundation president, I was honored and fortunate to help coordinate a unique partnership with The Exodus Road. The campaign helped MDRT members confront realities and concerns about human trafficking that are seen in local communities across the globe. At the MDRT Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, members learned more about the threat human trafficking poses to our local and global communities and provided financial donations to support The Exodus Road’s mission.
Global Impact of Human Trafficking and Slavery
The Exodus Road is a non-profit organization that collaborates with local law enforcement to find and rescue victims of human trafficking in the United States, Latin America, India, Thailand and Southeast Asia. As we learned more about the organization and its mission, I was surprised to learn just how far the issue extends around the world. Human trafficking and slavery is truly a global issue, with an estimated 20 - 40 million people impacted across 136 countries today.1
Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits each year and is the second-largest criminal industry in the world. Fifty-eight percent of those living in modern slavery are located in India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. While this is a global issue, there are an estimated 57,700 victims in the U.S. alone with the most reported cases in California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and New York.2
To date, the efforts of The Exodus Road have resulted in 945 human trafficking victims rescued and 411 offenders arrested. The mission is supported by 63 active volunteer operatives and operations in four countries with due diligence being done for future work in several more.3 The Exodus Road deploys undercover operatives who are volunteer, contract or partner organization investigators to collaborate to free trafficking victims and arrest offenders in partnership with local law enforcement.
MDRT Foundation Training and Global Reach
On June 25, more than 15,000 MDRT members from 67 countries heard The Exodus Road CEO Matt Parker speak from the main stage at the MDRT Annual Meeting. Later that day, Parker led a more intensive training with 300 members. He shared the signs of human trafficking and provided practical methods to research local trafficking statistics, report suspicious activity and become involved in the counter-trafficking movement. Members left the session empowered to safeguard communities and work with authorities to safely handle issues at the local level.
The training opened members’ eyes to the reality of human trafficking and slavery; many people do not realize its global prominence or understand it has a global presence and can even exist in their own neighborhoods. Our hope is that MDRT members will leverage these skills to make a lasting, global impact in the counter-human trafficking movement. We know the diverse cross section of our membership that attended the training will implement tangible strategies in their local communities and be advocates for the cause.
A Financial Impact to Help Halt Trafficking
The MDRT Foundation supported The Exodus Road through a fundraising drive held during the meeting. The campaign raised a total gift of $265,000 for The Exodus Road from more than 1,300 donors. The donation will be used to sponsor investigations, search and rescue operations, training initiatives and fund projects to facilitate quality survivor aftercare.
MDRT members support important charitable work through the MDRT Foundation’s fundraising campaigns and service projects each year at the Annual Meeting. This year, we felt it was important to select a partner organization that provides a global reach and makes the largest possible percentage of donations available to support the cause. As leaders in the financial services profession and their local communities, members will carry this meaningful cause beyond the meeting and will leverage their training and perspectives to improve the world one community at a time.
This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources; however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Geneos Wealth Management, Inc.
About the MDRT Foundation
The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the MDRT Foundation has donated more than USD 32 million to charitable organizations serving people in 70 countries and all 50 U.S. states. The majority of these funds were raised by MDRT members and financial services industry partners. The mission of the MDRT Foundation is to increase member and industry participation and to give funds to worthwhile charitable organizations throughout the world. To learn more, follow MDRT Foundation on Facebook or visit www.mdrtfoundation.org.
About The Exodus Road
The Exodus Road is a nonprofit based in Colorado that currently collaborates with local law enforcement to find and rescue victims of human trafficking in the United States, Latin America, India, Thailand and Southeast Asia. For more information about The Exodus Road, visit www.the exodusroad.com.
Marc A. Silverman,
CFP, ChFC, formed Silverman Financial in 1989. He is a 34-year MDRT member with five Court of the Table and 24 Top of the Table honors, and he served as the 2018 President of the MDRT Foundation. He is a past president and board member of the Miami Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and a past Chair of Top of the Table. Silverman earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami. Silverman offers securities and investment advisory services through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Silverman can be reached via email at email@example.com.