If you haven't yet, listen to the podcast here! This post is a little summery of what we discussed..
I had the privilege this week to interview a speaker from last year at my MOPS group. Kay Levesque and her family came and spoke to our group about the realities of Human-trafficking, Sex-trafficking, Labor-trafficking and child-trafficking. I had heard Christine Caine with A21 speak on the horrific realities of human trafficking before, so I knew a little bit about it. I think most of us know that there are modern day slaves. If you're like me, you didn't really want to know much about it because then that knowledge comes with a responsibility. It's the sad reality of most consumers out there. But did you realize how staggering the child sex trafficking trade is? In this post, I'm going to sum up a little bit of our conversation, but I would encourage you to go to her website Love 2 Hope for more resources.
We talked a little bit about hotspots in the U.S. A lot of trafficking happens over the border, under the guise of refugees and immigrants. If you're wanting to know more locations Polaris Project has a lot of resources and an infrared map that shows the "hotspots".
Here are just a few facts I jotted down during our discussion.
30-40 million people are trafficked globally (includes all forms of slavery)
5 million of those are sex-trafficking victims, and is growing every year.
Sex trafficking is the 2nd highest grossing criminal activity worldwide at $150 billion annually. (second to drugs and right above illegal weapons, with projections to be the number 1 criminal enterprise, thanks to the internet)
women and children who are sex-trafficked have a 7 year life expectancy because of the abuse they endure day in and day out. No breaks.
The numbers seem almost overwhelming.
So, what can we do to fight human trafficking?
Become involved! Pray, journal and become educated. Watch documentaries (True Cost was recommended), read survivor stories, BELIEVE survivors, educate your children about the dangers of pornography, understand that pornography and sex-trafficking and slavery go hand-in-hand. Get involved in local non-prophits. Follow organizations that fight trafficking and share their content on social media. Falkirk Center, A21, Love2Hope, Shared Hope International just to name a few.
Now, to fight labor trafficking. First, head to this slavery footprint website to open your eyes to how many estimated slaves you have directly working for you. Download the app, Buycott, you can scan barcodes and find out more about what you're purchasing. Look for the label Fair Trade on items you buy. (chocolate, coffee, bananas and clothing have the highest slavery footprint.) Buy second hand clothing to reduce directly purchasing from brands that exploit slaves, or go to this website to find clothes that are fair trade! There are many more ways to fight labor trafficking, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's a start!
This is by far the most slaves our world has ever had in history. This human rights issue has no racial preference, and effects men, women and children. Please, educate yourself, share what you find and do your part to fight this!