Well everyone, if you have read any of my posts so far, then you probably know that I have a passion for victims of human trafficking. However, this will mean absolutely nothing to you if you do not know what human trafficking actually is. In plain terms, it is slavery. If you want the long definition, then it " involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transfering, harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them." (UNODC) In no possible terms is this act justifiable. It is wrong, and that, my friends, is why I have to do something about it. Have you ever heard of something and just knew that you would never be the same afterwards? Did you know that you absolutely had to do something about it in order to right the wrong? That's how it was for me. I simply can't sit by and let this injustice happen. I have to do something. That is why I want to be a counselor (well, the short story anyways). God has called me to this. He has called me to make a difference in His Kingdom by fighting this injustice.
The two main forms of human trafficking are forced labor and sex trafficking. Both of these break my heart. Can you imagine being forced to work for twelve to twenty hours a day? Can you imagine being forced to have sex with ten, twenty, or even thirty people PER night? I certainly can't. They don't get a "day off". They don't get any "vacation time". These people are barely surviving. I challenge you to make a difference. Some easy ways to do so:
- Buy fair trade food (this means that it is made without slave labor)
- Make a T-Shirt to raise awareness about the injustice of human trafficking
- Tell people about it
- Donate money to organizations that work to stop human trafficking
- Volunteer with organizations that work to fight human trafficking. Some of them even host like 5K walks or races that you can participate in, with people sponsoring you to raise money.
- Be on the lookout for possible victims. Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline if you suspect that someone is at risk (1-888-373-7888)
- Help people who seem to be in trouble. Runaways, single or double orphans (have lost one or two parents) and victims of sexual or domestic abuse are the most likely to be trafficked.
- Reach out to everyone. Those who seem lonely, outcast, suicidal or abused are highly at risk.
These victims are sold, sometimes by their own family, into a life of slavery. The are tricked or kidnapped. For many, it is a life of no return. The average age that a girl lives after being sold into the sex trade is seven years. SEVEN YEARS! That is less than a decade! If you find that shocking, then listen to this: the average age that a girl is sold into the sex trade in AMERICA is 11-12 years old. That is your little sister. That is your cousin. That is the girl that you used to babysit. That is your neighbor's daughter.
There are many amazing organizations that work to fight human trafficking. Some of my favorites are:
- International Justice Mission http://www.ijm.org/
- Love 146 http://love146.org/
- Hope for Justice http://hopeforjustice.org.uk/
- Not For Sale http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/
- The A21 Campaign http://www.thea21campaign.org/
- NightLight International http://nightlightinternational.com/
- Hagar International http://www.hagarinternational.org/
- Polaris Project http://www.polarisproject.org/
- As Our Own http://asourown.org/
- Red Thread Movement http://www.redthreadmovement.org/
- Mercy Ministries http://www.mercyministries.org/
- The Project to End Human Trafficking http://www.endhumantrafficking.org/
I hope that you will check out these websites. They are truly awesome and will provide you with more information than I have the time to share. I challenge you to make a difference in this world by standing up and speaking out against human trafficking.
"Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
~ Proverbs 31: 8-9 (ESV)
"You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know."
~ William Wilberforce
*All photos are taken from Google Images