By Suzan Braun
Two children are sold into slavery every minute… there are 27 million slaves in the world today… 200,000 of them are in the United States. Human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world and its bringing in nearly 32 billion dollars each year. The average age of child sex trafficking victims is between 11 and 12 years old.
Nita Belles, author of In Our Backyard, states “Human trafficking is the dirty secret that has been hidden too long in our country. Modern-day slavery looks like the fresh-faced young girl or boy who is being sold for sex by a pimp via the Internet, the domestic worker living with a family who abuses her sexually as she lives in fear for her life, or the migrant worker who lives in a compound with barbed wire designed to keep the slaves in, rather than bad guys out.”
It’s a world-wide epidemic and millions are being exploited and defiled in every country. Victims come from every socio-economic group, race, class, gender, and nationality.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to help bring an end to modern-day slavery. Jesus provides a clear call to action for us in Lk. 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners…to set the oppressed free.”
We can help push back the darkness. Practical solutions that are making a difference come in many forms. Consider following up with at least one of these action steps on the list below.
- Pray for those being sold and those purchasing them and the pimps who prostitute them.
- Connect with and volunteer at local organizations and ministries already working in your community.
- Familiarize yourself with state and federal trafficking laws and encourage lawmakers in your state to pass legislation against human trafficking.
- Help trafficking victims get connected with counselors to provide treatment for mental and emotional trauma.
- Connect survivors with churches or faith-based organizations that can assist in meeting their spiritual needs as they recover.
- Volunteer to teach and tutor trafficking victims in literacy, computer skills, ESL, or GED courses.
- Educate and advocate for victims and survivors by sharing about this issue at your church, school, or other organizations in your community.
- Assist in providing training in job readiness skills, interview skills, financial planning, job applications, resume creation, etc. to human-trafficking survivors.
- Collect furniture and other household items for survivors as they transition to permanent homes.
- Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (888-373-7888) to report any signs or suspicions of human trafficking in your area.
You can make a difference! Learn more firsthand about this radical redemption and begin to reach victims of sex-trafficking so that their lives can be transformed and the love of Christ can bring healing, one life at a time.