“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
What Is Human Trafficking?
One of the most heartbreaking issues facing society today is human trafficking. Human trafficking is defined as a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. Human trafficking is simply a modern term for slavery.
According to a September 2017 report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation, an estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these:
- 16 million (64%) were exploited for labor
- 4.8 million (19%) were sexually exploited
- 4.1 million (17%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor.
Trafficked individuals are threatened, bribed, kidnapped, coerced, beaten, branded, manipulated, and shamed into doing what their captors want them to do. There is no way to sugar-coat the atrocity that is human trafficking. It is an evil, corrupt business that has ruined millions of lives worldwide.
What Can I Do to Join the Fight Against Human Trafficking?
Significant progress has been made in recent years to combat human trafficking, but there is still so much work to be done! You can join the fight against human trafficking by:
- Spreading awareness: They say knowledge is power, and educating yourself in human trafficking and spreading that awareness to others is a beneficial first step to joining the fight.
- Not using porn websites: Many of the “models” on these sites are trafficked individuals, so in using these sites you are supporting a crime and aiding in the emotional and physical abuse of fellow human beings. Say no to porn!
- Uploading photographs to the TraffickCam app whenever you stay at a hotel: Law enforcement agencies rely on databases like this to identify where victims might be.
- Supporting ministries dedicated to fighting human trafficking: As you learn more about human trafficking, you may start to feel small and helpless. With so many in slavery, you may wonder how you can possibly make a difference? Thankfully, there are organizations and ministries (like ours) whose sole mission is to disrupt human trafficking and save enslaved individuals. Start by getting involved with or donating to these ministries.
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”– the Talmud