One of the organizations I am in contact with is called the Collaborative Initiative to end human trafficking. They emailed me a lot of useful information including pamphlets that sum up what the problem is very well.
To make things clear, here is a little over view of what human trafficking is in their terms:
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, men and women. Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders world wide, and between 14,500 and 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State.
Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.”
Wow. 100s of thousands? In fact, according to A21, someone gets trafficked once every 30 SECONDS. After drug dealing, sex trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world. Victims are forced to work in either prostitution or sex entertainment. I didn’t know this next part: “Trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.”
Here is an A21 quote:
Human trafficking…[def.] the movement of individuals,with the primary purpose of forced servitude or sexual slavery.
Today, an estimated 27 million people are held in slavery, with statistics estimating that 99% of these victims are never rescued. Trafficking in women is the second largest global organized crime, and in some cases girls are forced to service as many as 40 men a day.
It is easy to be overwhelmed by the issue of human trafficking and think that we cannot make a difference. But do not forget that each one of us has at our disposal the most powerful weapon of warfare –and that is prayer.
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My father in heaven.” Matthew 18:18-19 (NKJV)
If that doesn’t tear your heart up, they even list ways traffickers get women to be slaves. Some just keep women locked up while others manipulate women to be their objects. Some ways are: threatening exposing circumstances to families of the women, threaten physical harm to the women or their families, limiting time in pubic/isolation, isolation from family members or community, holding victims money for “safe keeping” (not,) debt bondage, confiscating passports/visas/identification, or “telling victims they will be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities.”
Here are some more headlines (close to home):
“At least 1,800 people at any point in time in Ohio are held in trafficking bondage. Miami Fl, Portland OR, Las Vegas NV, and Toledo OH are the top 4 US gateway cities, but the Las Vegas child sex victims come mostly from Toledo, pushing it up to third place overall. It is incredible. Also incredible is that 6-month-old infants are used sexually and that men pay $1,000 for 20 minutes to use girls ages 6 months to 12 years in sex tourism.
Why is Toledo such a major gateway into this human rights violation industry? Many of the youngsters – not all girls, but some boys as well – are being groomed and offered to the sellers and pimps by grandmothers that had been prostitutes first, had guided or allowed their own children into the industry, and then began groom the grandchildren. This is third-generation human trafficking that is trapping grandmothers, daughters, and granddaughters as well as some men and boys.”
I guess one would expect this to happen in some random Eastern European countries, farther away from home, but the fact is it is right on our doorstep. I cannot emphasize that enough. I simply cannot imagine it growing, nor do I want to.
Also, here are some cool ways to help donate and support rescued victims:
- The A21 store
Buy merchandise, it goes to helping shelters and women who have been freed. (I got a key necklace for Christmas. $25 dollars, you wear it and help spread the word!)
A21 suggested this on their site. I guess women make products, we buy them, and they get money to live off of to start their life again.
“NightLight is an international organization committed to addressing the complex issues surrounding trafficking and prostitution by catalyzing individual and community transformation. NightLight’s vision is to offer intervention to sexually exploited women and children, to enable them to discover their dignity, and to provide a program of holistic transformation, empowering them to live and work in their community.” (From their website.) Buy handmade jewelry from victims around the world. As far as I know you would be giving victims employment to try and get their life back on track, coming from around the world. (Cute stuff, too!!)
Okay, that’s post #2. It is easy to get depressed by this, also overwhelmed. It is important to remember God works miracles. These article anger me, but it is also important to be praying for the traffickers, the people trafficking these women. That the Lord softens their hearts and urges them to repentance. I think the Lord can do a lot of good here.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2
Thank you, again!
P.S. If you have the stomach for it, here is one story of a girl who was sold into the industry at age 6. Some of the gory details are her being raped 20 times a night… This will bring you to tears. http://www.callandresponse.com/blog/?p=2872
Also, here’s an American testimony… Very creepy.