Slavery isn’t dead. Do something about it.

My kids haven’t a clue about slavery. They read the words in the Bible, but apart from Joseph, they don’t get it. They learn about the Civil War, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, but the schools (even we as parents) dilute the truth. We soften it, ascribing to age-appropriateness. While the kids learn that America has come a long way toward equality and human rights, they haven’t a clue how far.

Nor have they any idea how much further our world needs to go.

There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe.

I don’t want to tell my eight-year-old daughter how girls half her age are forced to have sex with men thirty times a day. She doesn’t need to know that … yet.

You and I, however, are not eight years old. Ignorance is not always bliss. Sometimes it’s just plain ignorance.

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Statistics continue to rise. The number of victims increased by 27% between 2008 and 2011. Another person falls victim every 30 seconds. This is beyond disgusting. I cannot even image the horrors involved. We cannot remain silent.

Sex trade is only one aspect of slavery. It’s an area where you and I can get involved. Fortunately, with several great organizations already addressing the issue, it’s easy for us to add to the momentum and really make an impact. Here are some easy steps to take.

1. DONATE. World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse include this fight in their global efforts toward social justice. You can make tax-deductible donations via their websites.

2. CONTACT WASHINGTON. I know not all of you are Americans, but for those who are, World Vision offers a simple form by which you may contact your congressman and representatives regarding an act of protection for victims. Click HERE for more information. If you’re not in the United States, check your government websites for opportunities to raise your voice against these crimes.

3. GIVE MEANINGFUL GIFTS. Target is great, but what if the pjs you buy your sister are cute AND help rescue women around the world? Several charities that incorporate rescue missions with empowerment strategies. You buy this stuff all the time anyway, so why not get it from a source that serves double duty? By purchasing what they produce, you not only get beautiful gifts for those within arm’s reach, you also support those outside of arm’s reach. Some of my favorite shops include:

  • Punjammies {www.punjammies.com} : Part of the International Princess Project, this shop offers really adorable pajamas made by women rescued from forced prostitution. Not only can you buy jammies online, you can also host a Punjammies party as a fun way to raise awareness in your local community.
  • Hand & Cloth {www.handandcloth.org} : Based on biblical principles, this organization provides work, encouragement, safety and healing to at-risk women in India. Via their online shop you can purchase gorgeous quilts, blankets and throws made from recycled Indian sari materials.
  • Rahab Ministries {www.rahabministriesthailand.com} : Providing employment and assistance to freed slaves in Thailand, Rahab Ministries offers an entire catalog of jewelry and handmade toys.
  • FreeSet {www.freesetglobal.com} : Based in Kolkata, this organization supports its fight against sex trade by selling bags, totes and t-shirts. Learn more on their website.

4. VOLUNTEER. The A21 Campaign offers facts and action steps that you can take in your area and around the world. Click HERE for a list of 21 things YOU can do to make a difference. Other organizations to research include the Not for Sale Campaign and the Polaris Project.

5. STAY INFORMED and SUPPORT THOSE FIGHTING. You all know I highly value the power of a good book. Here are a few to get you started. Not only might you learn something, but when you support authors fighting, you support their causes. I’ve not read all of these titles, but I trust those who have recommended them.

walk-across-the-sun-cover-204x300A Walk Across the Sun: The digital version of this book has been out for a year, but the print version just released last week. Reviews call it “an eye-opening debut thriller” about two orphans swept into international sex trade. Read an interview with the author today on HighCalling.


exposedExposed 
: At first glance, this book is about a marriage in trouble and a tangle in pornography. But as I argued last summer, porn goes deeper than pictures. This book presents two sides of the high-grossing sex industry.

deliver meDeliver Me From Evil : The first in the “Freedom” series (three books so far), this book follows two sides of human trafficking: that of those trapped and that of those seeking abolition. Author Kathi Macias is a powerful advocate for this cause. She provides action steps both on her website and within each book.

soldSold : This is actually a YA book written from a young girl’s point of view. A finalist for the National Book Award, it centers on a Nepalese child sold to a brothel in India.

“Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Your Turn: So, what are you going to do?

* Facts and statistics collected from A21 website and humantrafficking.org.

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