Then for the love of filthy Gold,
Strait they bore me to the sea;
Cramm'd me down a Slave Ship's hold,
Where were hundreds stow'd like me
~The Sorrows of Yamba, The Negro Woman's Lamentation (London 1797)
The practice of slavery, today called human trafficking, goes back to ancient times, affecting many different races and people groups. At times it has been quelled by abolition movements only to rear its ugly head again after times of complacency. Evil does not rest, and neither should we. The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy; ~John 10:10a
There is a list of the Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. When we see these elements it is not difficult to see that the fruit of this recipe is the desire to oppress the weak for personal gain. This is what God wants to protect us from when He says to follow His Way and not the ways of the world and the consequences when we do not listen.
God designed the perfect protection plan for the vulnerable: a married father and mother fully dependent on Him for guidance and sustenance. The breakdown of this structure makes the job of the Devil much easier which it is why the family is such a target. The more the family structure is corrupted within a society, the more oppression there is.
According to the US State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, because unlike drugs, humans can be sold for profit again and again. Cases include trafficking of children of all ages (including babies) for sex, pornography, forced begging and theft, domestic servitude, debt bondage, labor, and black market organ harvesting. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
Unsuspecting children are often lured in and abducted by deceptive people playing trust gaining roles such as friends, boyfriends, parents of friends, corrupt counselors, etc. Some are even raped and sold by family members. Teenagers are usually seduced by false promises of love, security and material wealth and later forced into submission with violent threats to family members. Their naivety, feelings of helplessness, and dependency for survival keep them in bondage and servitude to their captors.
Many are held in brothels and transported between truck stops, sporting events, and entertainment venues, but surprisingly, others can be found working in a variety of different roles, including restaurants, nail salons, hotels, etc. Some say that there are many prostitutes who do this work by choice, but I don't believe they began that way and if given a believable choice, they would want something better. If you or someone you know or suspect is in this kind of bondage, there are some helpful links provided below.
Jesus said, "I have come, that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~John 10:10
How to Help and Give Hope
Pray for the victims and the persecutors (many of them were once victims). Pray for the people and organizations who are on the front lines of this battle. Educate yourself on what trafficking is and how it affects our world. Research organizations in your area to be involved with: volunteering, donating, etc. And make sure they are grounded in God's Word for guidance and counseling.
There are many testimonies on YouTube from former victims of human trafficking. Listen to some of them. Their stories are similar.
Operation Liberate investigates and identifies victims and then connects with various law enforcement agencies to shut down trafficking rings and facilitate rescues. http://www.operationliberate.com
Path 2 Hope: Reaching out to people in the sex industry and other broken people to offer hope and direction towards a better life. http://www.path2hope.org
Veterans For Child Rescue was founded specifically to help bring an end to child trafficking. Our primary methods are to widely expose the threat through multiple mass media platforms and to directly combat the problem by running joint sting operations against traffickers with law enforcement and allied non governmental organizations. http://www.vets4childrescue.org
City of Refuge seeks to lead individuals and families on a journey to self sufficiency for generations to come by focusing on health, wellness, housing, vocational training and youth development. http://www.refuge-city.org
Rahabs Rope Giving hope and opportunity to women and children at risk in India to bring them out of the sex trade and training them how to live outside of the industry. http://www.rahabsrope.com
Protect Your Family
Pray for their protection, that God would look over them in ways that you cannot.
Keep your marriage healthy. If you are a single parent, make protection a priority over who you allow into your household even for a visit.
Educate them in ways they can understand about inappropriate activity that could endanger them inside and outside the home.
Know your children's friends, family members, caretakers, teachers, church leaders, coaches, etc. Regular contact and conversation is necessary.
Situational Awareness: When out in public, always be aware of your surroundings, who might be watching or paying inappropriate attention.
Supervise all internet interaction and television programs and research reading materials, movies and music. Plugged In is a helpful link from Focus On The Family. http://www.pluggedin.com
Support Legislation on local and national levels that protects life and families and properly prosecutes crimes including trafficking and pornography.