Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? (Isaiah 58:6 KJV)
I sat in the booth across from my daughter and unwrapped my sandwich. After taking a bite of the Turkey Italiano sub, I sat back and waited for her to taste her own. Her face was pale and her lips were colorless.
I knew she was upset after hearing about a recent abusive situation. I also knew if I didn’t get her talking, she would worry about it for days and refuse to eat.
“Why are you so angry?” I raised my hand before she could remind me of what I already knew. “I understand you’re upset about the situation, but I want you to think about it a minute. Set your emotions aside. Now, tell me, why are you angry?”
Moments passed while she processed. (Let me tell you, this kid can process for days! J)
Finally, she leaned over the table and whispered. “Because I can’t do anything about it. I feel helpless, and that makes me angry.”
I was proud that she had gotten to the root of her emotions. I smiled at her. In the past, I too would have been unable to eat. But now, I understand the reason for my anger, and I know what to do about it.
“Oh yes, there is something you can do about it. We do it every month. We support IJM and the fight against abuse. We pray. And we can definitely write about it. Want a story? We can write stories of abused characters finding their freedom if that’s what you want. You’re not helpless. Talk about it. Educate others about it. Use that anger to make a difference. Don’t just fume, take action.”
“It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name…modern slavery.” President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012
The following definition, profit, and issue quotes are taken from humanrightsfirst.org. You can download your own copy here.
Human Trafficking Defined
Under U.S. law, trafficking in persons is defined as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age,” or “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, using force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Breakdown of Profits
Human trafficking earns profits of roughly 150 billion a year for traffickers, according to the ILO report from 2014. The following is a breakdown of profits, by sector:
- $99 billion from commercial sexual exploitation
- $34 billion in construction, manufacturing, mining and utilities
- $9 billion in agriculture, including forestry and fishing
- $8 billion dollars is saved annually by private households that employ domestic workers under conditions of forced labor.
(Think we have nothing to worry about? Think again.)
- Asia-Pacific15.4 million
- Africa 5.7 million
- Europe and Central Asia 2.2 million
- North and South America 1.2 million
- Arab states account for 1 percent of all victims.
- Get involved with state and local government to make a difference
- Donate to nonprofit organizations fighting for the rights of humans everywhere
- Be aware of what’s going on in your neighborhoods, towns, schools, and churches
When searching for a nonprofit organization, I wanted someone I could trust, someone who was making a difference, and someone who practiced financial transparency. I chose International Justice Mission.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2018 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1, 2018. I call upon industry associations, law enforcement, private businesses, faith-based and other organizations of civil society, schools, families, and all Americans to recognize our vital roles in ending all forms of modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities aimed at ending and preventing all forms of human trafficking.”
Together we can make a difference.
In honor of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, I’m offering a printed copy of Treasures of Hope, Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past. Leave a comment to have your name entered in the drawing.