Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

Human Trafficking

on February 3, 2013

This is going to be a more grown-up blog than usual. And has a very outward focus…

Something that has always weighed huge on my heart was human trafficking, or sex trafficking. This is a practice started hundreds of years ago, and unfortunately still exists today. We, as a society  have been able to accomplish many great things – women given the right to vote, abolishing slavery in America, helping with clean water and food distribution in war-torn and impoverished societies. But, we’ve not solved the problem of sex slavery and human trafficking. This horrible problem comes down to our greatest human sin – selfishness. Because of selfishness, we desire money, power, and sex. And as humans, we would go through any lengths to get these things. So how can we address this problem?

“Over two hundred years ago, British Parliamentarian William Wilberforce tirelessly crusaded to protect innocent humans from forced bondage. His efforts led first to Britain’s abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and finally to a prohibition on slavery in 1833.

The United States ended slavery with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War. Or so it would seem. By the beginning of the 20th century, President Theodore Roosevelt warned against the “white slave trade,” which involved the abduction and forced prostitution of young women and girls. Although Congress passed the Mann Act in 1910 forbidding the interstate transport of persons for immoral purposes, the forced prostitution of women and children continues in the United States – and globally – to this day.”

The definition of sex trafficking is:

a specific form of human trafficking in which a victim is induced by fraud, force or coercion to perform a sex act for payment. One common scheme to seduce women is to promise them jobs overseas as waitresses or domestic servants. Once out of the country and away from their family, traffickers take victims’ passports and subject them to beatings or rape to force them into their new “job.”

In the United States, victims of sex trafficking are often young girls who have run away from abusive situations at home and are quickly picked up by pimps who coerce them into prostitution by promising food, shelter or clothing. Pimps tighten their control over the girls by getting them dependent on drugs. Other recruiting methods include befriending vulnerable-looking girls at malls, movie theaters and even schools. The recruiter could be a young man posing as a doting boyfriend or another girl who appears to be friendly. (FOF)

Here’s some stats that I think might shock you:

Global

  • In January 2006, Interpol announced that human trafficking generates $32 billion annually.
  • The United Nations claims that the trafficking of human beings has surpassed the drug trade to become the second largest source of money for organized crime after the illegal arms trade.
  • The U.S. State Department estimates at least 600,000 to 800,000 human beings are trafficked across international borders each year. Numbers within national borders are much higher.
  • Among all trafficking victims, 80 percent are female and 50 percent are children.
  • Seventy percent of trafficking victims are forced into sexual servitude.
  • UNICEF reports that more than 1 million children around the world enter the sex trade every year.
  • Approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood to sexual exploitation over the past 30 years.

United States

  • An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 women and children are trafficked into the United States annually from other countries.
  • Congress reported its findings for the Trafficking Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 that between 100,000 to 300,000 American teens are at risk for sex trafficking annually.

Despite an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 sex slaves in the U.S., fewer than 1,000 victims have been assisted through the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement since 2001, when services for trafficking victims were first made available. (FOF)

What can we do?

This is a had question to answer. When we look at stats like the ones above, we can become overwhelmed and get a huge feeling of helplessness. But, here’s some things we can do and some organizations that we can support:

– Educate your kids, families, and friends. The more people know about the secrecy of the sex trade, the better.

– Buy “fair trade” merchandise. What is “fair trade”? It’s merchandise made by people who were rescued from the sex trade or other difficult situations. Fair Trade means that the money you are paying goes straight to the maker of the merchandise. For example, if something costs $3…the person gets the profit (aside from the shipping cost). There is not a huge mark-up of the price from the retailer. https://admin.tenthousandvillages.com/index.php/storelocator/category/view/id/festival/ is a reliable fair trade retailer that’s been around for a long time. You can find others by searching “fair trade” online or asking your church about their knowledge of fair trade merchandise. (if you really like coffee, check this out – http://landofathousandhills.com)

– support organizations who are fighting to save people from the sex trade, and keep them out of the trade! here’s a few that I know of:

– PRAY! Those who are in the U.S. and other countries directly fighting trafficking by undercover operations are in a dangerous line of work. These people and their families need our prayers desperately!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: