Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Human trafficking is a modern day slavery of global proportions. Trafficking is not something that happens only in economically depressed countries but across the globe there is an underground network that brings humans to those who demand labor, services, and sex. In fact, The International Labor Organization, a United Nations Agency, estimates that there are at least 12.3 million children, women, and men in forced or bonded labor and commercial sex servitude at any given time. Experts say the majority of those in slavery are women and girls. At least one in five victims is subjected to sexual exploitation.
Even here in the United States, it is estimated that every year approximately 17,000 people are trafficked into the country, and an unknown but significant number of American citizens are sold into sex slavery every year. That this is true over 160 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that in all states of the USA, all slaves were to be set free, and slavery abolished in this country.
Today and every day, our church is called to stand up against the exploitation of God’s creation, including His human children.
Why should we take note? As stated by the 22nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA): The church stands against human trafficking and forced labor based upon its conviction that (1) each person bears the image of God, or Imago Dei, and (2) that work - in any location - is both a necessity and a calling: "The Laborer deserves to be paid.” (1 Timothy 5:18)
While we rely on government and nonprofit enterprises to address the large scale nature of this problem, consider the following resources for you to read and share to raise awareness of human trafficking:
If you suspect that someone is in danger, please take action.
Help is available every day, 24/7, and is strictly confidential