I know I have written on this topic before, but I wanted to make you aware of it. Again. Because it is a very serious, worldwide problem.
January 11 is National Human Trafficking Day and the whole month of January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
A large part of trafficking is sexual slavery. I can hardly bring myself to write this. My heart breaks with pain and my eyes flow with tears. I force myself to type this. These children are raped repeatedly, more than 30 times a day, just for profit. Just for someone’s twisted pleasure. Now, my stomach turns. One report says that the younger the children, the better for the trafficker. That means even under the age of six.
Human trafficking is the #2 fastest growing crime in the U.S. with 50% of the victims being children. The average age of those forced into sexual exploitation is 12-13 years old.
While statistics are hard to pin down, as no one really knows the exact numbers and each site lists different figures, it is estimated that trafficking amasses $7 billion dollars annually.
Two men found this ugly truth existing right in their hometown of Atlanta. Their search led them into the secret world of America’s modern slave trade and to a global undercover operation to rescue victims.
The two men, Dillon Burroughs and Charles Powell, wrote a book about it. Not in My Town: Exposing and Ending Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery tells the story and provides many resources for those who care to stop the injustice. Together, these two men have founded Mercy Movement.
New Hope Digital has a great article entitled Ideas and Resources to Join the Fight Against Modern Slavery. It lists ideas of how we, John Q. Public, can help. One I especially like: buy free-trade products, which are 100% free of slave labor.
Another who is fighting this atrocity is David Batstone, of the site Not for Sale, and lives in the San Francisco area. One day, he read an article about one of his favorite Indian restaurants, which had been “trafficking women from India to wash dishes, cook meals and other tasks.”
David says, “This was happening in my country at a restaurant I frequented. My shock turned into a consuming passion that took me around the world to learn more about how slavery flourishes in the shadows…And I knew I had to do something. The Not for Sale Campaign combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals like yourself – joined together to end slavery in our lifetime.”
A cyber-friend who also fights doggedly for this cause is Diana Scimone of Born2Fly. She has written a wonderful wordless book, so no translations are necessary, for children called Born to Fly which I told you about last month, in the article A Child is Born. The book helps at-risk children, “to educate kids, parents, and teachers about the dangers of child trafficking—with the ultimate goal of ending it,” says Diana.
A sister site to Born2fly is The Butterfly Project, which markets jewelry made by women and girls rescued from trafficking. Why not stop by and *like*
The Butterfly Project on Facebook? Better yet, support them with a purchase. I know you’ll be glad you did. You can contact Jané at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter as @SireneduMississ.
Another cyber friend, Kathi Macias, an award-winning author of over 30 books and several ghost-written ones, has also joined in this fight by writing what critics call a superb novel on the subject. Deliver Me from Evil shines the light on this horrific injustice to humankind. She has been interviewed on the radio and speaks on the topic.
He says on his site, “International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems – police, courts and laws – effectively protect the poor.”
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), a program of Polaris Project, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that has set up a national, toll-free hotline that answers calls in the U.S. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
So many wonderful people lending a hand in whatever way they can to combat this atrocious crime that I couldn’t possibly get it all in this post. I know I have left out many worthy people.
Oh, my sweet friends, what will you do? Please, please do something! Even if it is only to pray.
~Lord, bring rescuers into the lives of these unfortunate ones who are at the mercy of wretched traffickers. Both the victims and the miscreants…Deliver them from evil!
~~A big thank you to Tony Marino of Alive in Christ Radio LIVE program for mentioning the awareness day last night on his program.