Harold D’Souza ignites freedom for victims at 17th Annual International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference 2020
The University of Toledo presented this year’s 17th Annual International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference (IHTSJC). This was hosted virtually from September 23-25, 2020.
Celia Williamson, PhD, Executive Director, Human Trafficking & Social Justice Institute invited eloquent Honorable Harold D’Souza, President of Eyes Open International to share his breath-taking journey from “Slavery to The White House”.
This IHTSJC conference was attended by 1,500 attendees from 43 states and 19 countries over the course of three days.
Sara Soto, International Rescue Committee from University of Miami, Florida shared; “As the third day of the International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference comes to an end, I reflect on all the amazing sessions that I was able to attend. From Harold D’Souza’s story of resilience and how he educates and prevents others from being victims of labor trafficking”.
Harold D’Souza’s presentation mesmerized the audience of the pain, trauma, fear, stigma, and exploitation at the hands of perpetrators in labor trafficking and debt bondage. The best and most beautiful story of Harold D’Souza was how he turned obstacles into opportunities. Unbelievable journey of hurt to happiness.
The IHTSJC began in 2004 for the purpose of bringing people together to learn, connect, and collaborate on research, advocacy, programming, and legislation.
Harold D’Souza is a living role model of inspiration, hope, and resilience.
This has definitely been exemplified by a “Survivor” in America. Testimony of a powerful survivor. “My name is Paresh Patel. I originally belong to Madhi, Surat, Gujarat, India. I came to U.S.A. in 2009 on B1 B2 visa with a dream to settle in the States, having safe and good life style, and earning good income.
For getting status in U.S.A., I spent lots of money, but I cannot get it. I was very disappointed, and I thought that I have failed in my life. I was working 14 to 15 hours and getting $1500 fix salary.
I was exploited completely. I got loan from my friends. I was having a huge expenditure for my daughter’s marriage. To do suicide is the only thought that comes in my mind.
At this time, I came in contact with Mr. Harold D’Souza. I found out that Mr. D’Souza is a killer and murderer. Yes, you read it right, because he killed and murdered my fear, my negative thoughts, my suicidal feelings, and my depressing emotions. He boosted a positive energy in me and advised me to fight with current situation and not to lose faith. He is like a vaccine and a power bank to me.
Mr. D’Souza told me to never commit suicide and backed me to fight for my life and my family. He told, ‘If you help others then God will help you. Love every individual’.
When he gave me his book ‘Frog in a Well’, I was very overwhelmed with positive vibes. This book is story for people like me. Now I realize that I am not a ‘Frog in a Well’. I am not a football that anybody can kick me. I am very special person in U.S.A. I am an undocumented person, but not an illegal person. He made me realize that no human being is illegal, we are all son of god, life is too short and so enjoy it.
Now when I am upset, I talk with Mr. Harold D’Souza and he recharges my battery. He is like family.
He is doing great job with EOI, fighting against human trafficking.
I can see that he will become FATHER D’Souza like the Mother Teresa”, spoke survivor Paresh Patel hero of humanity.
The IHTSJC has grown to be the oldest and largest academic conference of its kind in the United States.
Harold D’Souza said; “I do not believe in impossible, I believe in, I.M. Possible. Suicide or silence is not a solution, choice, or option”.
This bright, brilliant, and beautiful Mamta Hunnar, Assistant Executive to the President, EOI shared; “Thank you Harold for supporting me and bring out the positive in me. I am trying to leave all the bad in the past. I want to move on in life and be happy thank you for everything”. She further spoke; “Really Harold I can’t express how thankful I am for this to you it was my luck that you entered as a mentor in my life and it actually is like a dream”. If you or anyone you suspect is a victim of human trafficking. Please call 1-888-373-7888 in America, Canada call 1-833-900-1010, and in India all +91-799-026-2632.
- Media Release