It’s been some time since I have felt compelled to contribute my “voice” to cyberspace, but I’ve been ruminating on much: my future, human trafficking, serving people and God. How can all of these ideas coexist? A better question may be, how can these ideas not exist together for me? Many of the thoughts I have been pondering will remain deep in the caverns of my mind for a bit longer, though I will expound on my recent thoughts on the atrocity of human trafficking: the imprisonment of human beings against their will for the purposes of trade and profit.
Last Sunday was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and this Monday many of us get to enjoy a day off from work to celebrate President’s Day. President Lincoln remains one of the favorite presidents among many, even to this day. Talk about being a president up against hard times! Yet he was able to reunite our nation (which is a good thing since other countries were waiting and hoping our young republic would fail even then) and end slavery in the United States, neither of which was a small or easy task. Yeah, he’s one of my heroes. The cool hat is just a bonus. However… I cannot help but imagine Lincoln would feel heartbroken to learn that slavery still exists, not just in other areas of the world, but IN OUR OWN COUNTRY as well.
Then I also think of William Wilberforce, who spent his life working to abolish the African-British slave trade. Just three days before he died, he was informed of the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, and he was able to die with the peace that his life’s work had not been in vain. Though I cannot help but imagine Wilberforce would feel demoralized if he learned that worldwide slavery still exists. In fact, there are an estimated 27 million people enslaved today, which is more than double the number of Africans enslaved during the entire Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
People unwittingly believe that slavery no longer exists, or they feel it is happening in remote areas of the world, and so they care little about the matter. If people are ignorant to this activity it is because those of us who do know need to keep spreading the word and make people aware. Creating the awareness is the first step to take in order to make a difference. But for those who do know yet choose to ignore it or to believe whatever is happening in remote parts of the world is of no concern to them, they are just as guilty as those who actually shackle other human beings.
In my efforts to educate people on the matter of human trafficking and modern day slavery, I actually have had people ask me not to tell them about it because it’s awful and they didn’t want to know something that bad exists. Why not? Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away! Should we behave like ostriches and stick out heads in the sand? Facing it head on, spreading the word, and working to abolish slavery in all its evil facets is the ONLY way it will end. Otherwise we’re just big stupid birds with our butts in the air. If this makes you angry, good. Get angry. Get downright furious… and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Albert Einstein
My husband and I watched Taken starring Liam Neeson last night. I know as a Christian that I am not really supposed to promote violence, but I have to confess that I enjoyed the idea of these evil people involved in forcing unsuspecting young women into prostitution “getting what they deserved.” Sure, the movie is fictional, but there is truth in it too. This sort of thing truly does exist and it makes me angry. Most often it is in a similar form to that of what takes place in the movie, but young children are also sold, kidnapped, and forced into it as well. In fact, up the 1.2 million of these victims are children, some of them as young as six years old! At this point, angry seems a weak word, but whatever it is, it is a righteous anger. God wants us to be angry at injustices because we should not accept them; we need to find ways to stop them. This doesn’t mean we become vigilantes, but we can certainly start by informing others of these injustices and contributing in whatever ways we feel we can to prevent, to rescue, and to rehabilitate.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get JUSTICE.” Proverbs 31:8-9
Here are some of the groups I know of that are fighting against human trafficking. There are more of them out there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-VC8AUE3Bc Nefarious: Merchant of Souls trailer
FIGHT (Fight Injustice and Global Human Trafficking)
Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking