Once you start learning about injustice, it’s hard to turn away. It’s hard to look at the world the same way. One of those issues that has my attention, is human trafficking.
I don’t suppose to understand slavery, to be an expert on any of this. I’m just one person, learning more, and sharing what I learn. I’m one person who wants to do something, no matter how small, to fight against the injustice. And these statistics, are really only just the beginning of the story.
Human trafficking is another name for modern-day slavery.
Defined, human trafficking is the illegal trade of humans, mostly for the purposes of labor and sex trafficking. It includes the use of lies or violence to force another person to work for little or no pay.
It is the world’s fastest growing criminal industry. Every country in the world is affected.
While we hear of slavery often in terms of sex trafficking, as horrific as that is, it doesn’t stop there.
Consider some of these statistics:
According to the UN, 4 billion people live outside the protection of the law. So their entire public justice system is so corrupt and dysfunctional, violence is prevalent. And it’s not just war and genocide that go unnoticed, but common criminal violence that you and I are protected against by a call to the police.
According to IJM:
Millions of the world’s poor are trapped in slavery because there’s no one there to protect them. In many places, the laws against slavery simply aren’t enforced by the police or courts, so slave owners and traffickers know that they can prey on the poor without fear of any consequences at all.
1 out of 5 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape.
Millions of widows and orphans live in fear of being chased out of their homes by neighbors with more power. 5 million are chased from their homes every year.
Traffickers prey on poor families seeking a better life. Families are tricked into selling their children.
People trapped in slavery live under constant control and fear. They face physical, verbal and sexual abuse daily, and cannot leave to find other work or protect their families. Slaves report being beaten, gang raped, locked in tiny rooms, starved and are even witnesses to murder.
For millions, it’s a matter of safety. Work isn’t safe. Home isn’t safe. The streets certainly aren’t safe.
It’s hard enough to swallow the enslavement of men and women. But unfortunately, children are common victims. 2 million plus children are exploited in the commercial sex industry. Sexual violence is part of childhood for millions more.
So what can we do? What little difference can we make?
I think one thing that’s important to remember is that it’s not up to one person to solve the problem of slavery. It takes many. We may not be on the front lines, but that doesn’t give us reason to not see the injustice. Not to raise our hands and ask what we can do.
Do we dare? Dare to believe there’s something we can do? We have to be willing to learn. Willing to share. Willing to support those who are working to make a difference. Willing to look at our shopping practices and question whether the companies we support are helping destroy, or continuing to support this industry.
It’s big, friends. It’s a monumental problem. It’s not going away on its own. It’s not going away quickly.
But. There are many who are fighting. Who are making a difference, even if for the life of one slave.
I’m still learning. But as I do, I’ll be sharing here. Sharing ways we can support organizations that are on the front lines of battle. And organizations and businesses that are supporting those rescued.
Won’t you join me? Join me in fighting against injustice. In not looking the other way.
Stay tuned tomorrow for one way you can do something.