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HUMAN TRAFFICKING - STATISTICS AND HOW YOU CAN HELP FIGHT IT

District Contacts: Mary Louise Stancell and Ann Cotton

 

How does slavery thrive in the twenty-first century? Where do we find it? Who is impacted?

Being trafficked is the end result of a horrifying chain of events that results in the enslavement and dehumanization of men, women, and children. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and it has been reported in all fifty states of the United States. It takes the form of sex trafficking or labor trafficking. Victims are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.

Human Trafficking Explained

Human Trafficking is among the largest and fastest growing criminal businesses. The United Nations estimates it is a $32 billion industry that encompasses sex and labor slavery across the globe. The average age of entry into the commercial sex trade is 13 years old. Of the 459 investigated and confirmed U.S. sex trafficking victims from 2008 to 2012, more than half were 17 or younger, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Children who end up being sexually trafficked often have predictive factors in their past. The two most common are runaways and victims of childhood sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse many times causes “early sexual debut” and traffickers pick up on this easily. But, experts warn, its not only troubled kids who become victims. Victims can come from two loving parents. They may have good grades in school. A well-formed and carefully-placed compliment given by a trafficker and BOOM! A young girl is drawn into a life of horrors. It is common understanding among pimps, if the girl blushes, looks down, doesn’t respond in a powerful voice – psychologically, she’s an ideal victim. Where does this happen? At gas stations, malls, schools, public bus systems, ball games, community parks, at a friend's house, movie theaters, or just bumping into someone on the street.

So, how does this thrive? Simply stated... supply and demand! When demand diminishes for a commodity, the supply will also diminish. The demand for self gratification drives the sex industry. Labor Trafficking is driven due to the willingness of some to maximize profits by minimizing the cost of labor, in order to meet the inexhaustible demand for cheap goods and services.

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How to Advocate

The Micah Movement recognizes our biblical responsibility to advocate for those held in chains of trafficking. We are guided by the position of The Wesleyan Church (Church and Culture, Wesleyan Publishing House, p.15) by :

    1. Praying earnestly for the end of human trafficking.
    2. Becoming aware of what is happening within our own countries.
    3. Raising awareness about human trafficking and potential Christian responses, availing ourselves of training materials such as the “Hands that Heal” resources available through World Hope International and providing leadership in the capacity.
    4. Providing avenues of healing to trafficked victims.
    5. Advocating on the part of the victims of human trafficking, as well as for laws that need to be enacted to end human trafficking.
    6. Preaching on the issues related to human trafficking, particularly as it relates to the demand in sex trafficking for pornography, Internet porn, entitlements to abuse those of lesser status, etc.
    7. Supporting the prosecution of buyers and consumers of trafficked persons.

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Statistics

The numbers bear out how big a problem human trafficking is worldwide. Polaris compiled these statistics from 2007 government data and nonprofit research. Experts say the situation is likely worse today.

    • 20.9 million – People in modern day slavery across the world.
    • 2 million – Children exploited by the global commercial sex trade, every year.
    • 800,000 – People trafficked across international borders every year.
    • $32 billion – Total yearly profits generated by the human trafficking industry

Sources: Polaris Project, U.S. State Department, International Labor Organization

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Ten Ways You Can Stand Against Human Trafficking*

    1. Learn about human trafficking: Internet, documentaries, film, video, books.
    2. Start a conversation: Discuss in person by phone, or online.
    3. Volunteer time: Contact a prevention or caregiver organization
    4. Give funds: Donate to recognized faith-based or civic prevention or caregiver organizations.
    5. Create public awareness: Engage community leaders in conversation, write letters or articles on the subject.
    6. Research businesses you frequent: is their inventory acquired through Fair Trade suppliers.
    7. Report suspicious activity: Call a civic or law enforcement hotline ( visit Polaris Project to learn more)
    8. Support victim recovery: Support victim recovery business, including buying products produced by rescued victims that help fund their livelihood and recovery process.
    9. Attend an anti-trafficking seminar or conference: Learn firsthand from victims and caregivers.
    10. Purchase wisely: Refrain from purchasing items made by companies that support human trafficking. Visit NOT FOR SALE and FREE 2 WORK for options.

* Compiled for various Anti-Human Trafficking workshops

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How Can My Church Become Involved?

PRAY FOR THE FOLLOWING:
  • Human Trafficking to cease
  • End of domestic violence
  • Protection of Safe Homes
  • Prevent drugs from reaching all children
  • Survivors after care programs and life skill training
  • Fathers/family members not to rape daughters
  • Perpetrators to be transformed
  • Additional workers to fight trafficking
  • Police Training
  • Victim rescue and relief
  • Justice system to make the buyer the criminal
  • Addressing the issue of pornography
  • Stronger laws against the predictor
  • Gang problems to be resolved

Fair Trade

BE A FAIR TRADE CHURCH:
Use, sell or promote only Fair Trade coffee and chocolate at your church or church related events. For more information on Fair Trade visit www.transfairusa.org

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A Biblical Framework for Opposing Human Trafficking

God Is A God of Justice Who Hates Injustice.

    • The Lord is righteous and loves justice (Psalm 11:7, Isaiah 61:8).
    • All God’s ways are just (Deuteronomy 32: 4, II Chronicles 19:7).
    • He blesses those who maintain justice (Psalm 106:3).

God Gives Dignity To All Human Life.

    • All life is created by God and stamped with His image ( Gen. 1:27).
    • Each man, woman, boy and girl is equally deserving of God’s love and favor through Christ Jesus ( Galatians 3:26-29).

Jesus Christ Came to Redeem and Restore the WHOLE Person: Body, Mind and Spirit.

    • God’s image has ben marred by sin but can be restored by the redeeming work of Jesus Christ ( Galatians 3:26).
    • Christ’s redemptive work in people’s lives include:
    • Physical healing (Read Matthew 20:29-34)
    • Spiritual healing (John 8:1-11)
    • Relational healing (Luke 15)

Hands That Heal Curriculum, from Project Rescue International on behalf of FAAST, Part I, page 57.
Scripture taken from New International Version

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Helpful Websites

Additional Online Resources

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If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Hot Line toll free at 1-888-373-7888.

Hotline Call Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to take reports from anywhere in the country related to potential trafficking victims, suspicious behaviors, and/or locations where trafficking is suspected to occur. All reports are confidential. Interpreters are available.

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