February 2018: Human Trafficking
What is Human Trafficking?
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery, a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to an estimated 20.9 million people worldwide. No matter where you live, chances are it is happening nearby. From the girl forced into prostitution at the truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.
According to the latest report on forced labor by the International Labour Organization (ILO), an estimated 21 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery.
- 14.2 million (68%) were exploited for labor
- 4.5 million (22%) were sexually exploited
- 2.2 million (10%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor
What can we do to help?
- Pray: During the month of February, we are encouraging individuals, families and small groups to include prayer for the victims, that they may find the freedom and humanity God intended for all His children; for those who work in rescue and counseling efforts; and finally for law enforcement officials who combat this crime throughout our country and world. The Super Bowl is notorious for an increase in prostitution in the host city, so pray that Minneapolis will be an exception this February.
- Learn: Become aware of the indicators of human trafficking, by clicking here.
- Report: If you believe that someone may be a victim, report your suspicion to law enforcement by calling 911 or the 24 hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.
- Be a Conscientious Consumer: Ask where the food you eat and the clothes you buy are being grown or made. Check out the Department of Labor's list of goods produced by child labor by clicking here.
- Parents and Educators: Be aware of how traffickers target school-age children and help to educate children as to the risks by clicking here.
- College and University Students: Take action on your campus by joining or organizing a campus club aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking.
- Read a Good Book: The following books are recommended:
- Made in USA: The Sex Trafficking of America's Children by Alisa Jordheim
- The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking by Mary Francis Bowley
- In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It by Nita Belles
- Take a Stand: Read about 5 Ways to Fight Evil in modern-day slavery here.
- Sponsor a Child: Poverty makes populations more vulnerable to trafficker's lies. The most vulnerable areas include: India, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Eastern Europe, parts of Africa and the Philippines. Partner with these groups, who offer sponsorships for at-risk children: Compassion International, Gospel for Asia and World Vision.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
From your FirstCov Social Concerns Ministry Team
Through information, prayer needs,
and tangible ideas to help,
we are equipping FirstCov as the hands and
feet of Christ to the world.