This is my first blog post since July 1, when I chose to take a break to focus on “30 Days of Worship” with my Roots and Fruits group. The break was much needed, focusing my attention God and His direction.
There are topics I choose to stay silent about in the online space. I research, learn, and discuss those topics in my personal life. I choose to sit across the table from those who give me wisdom and insight rather than trusting the internet for my belief systems.
Today, July 30 is World Day Against Human Trafficking and I think its only appropriate to break my silence with a post about the worst atrocity of our world today. I know its ugly and our world is awful enough. We want to go into our happy bubbles, ignoring the satanic practices infiltrating our society.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. People (especially children) are coerced, stolen, bought, and sold for practices of sex trafficking or forced labor. This occurs all over the world, every gender and age, culture and socioeconomic level.
To be honest, I had never thought about this topic until I watched the Liam Neeson movie, “Taken” in 2008. I was in shock that this was something that was actually going on in our world in beautiful places like Europe. The topic hit a little closer to home with the release of “Priceless” in 2016, addressing Human Trafficking going on here in the United States.
When our family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2016 from our safe bubble in Virginia, I was shocked to learn that Louisiana was one of the top states for Human Trafficking. A friend of mine, would carry a knife with her to the store as her stature would be a prime and easy target for traffickers to grab. I read story after story about women who were followed around Walmart or the mall and having to alert police that they were being tracked by strange men.
As I have learned more about Human Trafficking over the years, I was saddened to discover that the number one country with the demand for trafficking is my own country, the United States. In 2019, Fox News reported “Human Trafficking in America Among the Worst in the World” : “We have a major issue here in the United States” Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), said in an interview with Fox News. “The United States is the No. 1 consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.” Last year over 100,000 children were sexually exploited in the United States alone between the ages of 12 and 14. Trafficking generates over $150 billion a year, worldwide.
What is the US Doing to Fight Human Trafficking?
In 2017 the Department of Justice donated $16 million to 18 anti-human trafficking organizations, and $31 million to 45 organizations in 2018. Some of these organizations include “Operation Underground Railroad“, “International Justice Mission“, and “A21” which all work to rescue victims and arrest traffickers. You can also go the the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign site to see their data and resources on on Human Trafficking.
What resources are out there to learn more about Human Trafficking?
Other than the sites mentioned above, I discovered some fantastic education and training for all ages as well as many resources on fighting trafficking at home and in your area.
A21 has training videos here as well as resources for children and teenagers to use at home or in schools found here.
Human Trafficking Hotline has this incredible tool for finding anti-trafficking organizations in your area.
US Institute Against Human Trafficking has a wealth of information about targeting ending slavery here in the US.
What can you do to fight Human Trafficking?
- Inform Yourself – The mainstream media doesn’t often report on Human Trafficking. There are arrests made all over the world, daily, in relation to slavery, sex rings, etc. but most people I speak to have no idea that this is happening. Do your own research. You can not rely on media to give you straightforward information on the atrocities of Human Trafficking nor what our great law enforcement agents and humanitarians are doing to fight it.
- Buy Fair Trade Products – End Slavery Now has this information on using products that are fair trade and produced by slave free companies. To be honest, this is not something I have given a lot of thought to, but will be researching and doing more so in the future.
- Consider a Child Sponsorship – Sponsoring a child not only serves to make sure the child has food and clothing. A sponsorship insures that the family of that child will never have to make the decision to sell their child into slavery because they cannot afford to care for him/her. Organizations like Compassion International and Help One Now have sponsorships available all over the world. $38 a month may seem huge commitment, but I have found that I choose to give up other personal non-essentials in order to make sure that amount is covered each month. Our sponsored child in Rwanda has been a blessing to our family. Her birthday is the day before mine and we send pictures and emails throughout the year to encourage her and let her know how loved she is by our family. Through our funding, I am thankful that she will always be protected by Compassion International as well as given an education, food, clothing, and medical care.
- Get involved in Foster Care – while you may not be able to foster children in your own home, you can support other families that are able to foster. 50-60% of trafficked children are out of foster care. Donate gift cards to foster parents for date nights, contribute to birthday or Christmas celebrations, or coordinate Amazon wish lists for families of foster children. One foster mom has regular “Pinterest Parties” where she coordinates a craft project from Pinterest, then provides the supplies and instructions for the projects. Friends in the community purchase these kits and attend these parties for a fee. The money is used to help care for multiple foster children in her home. She and her husband also continue relationships with their foster children even after they have been reunited with their own families.
- Pray – I do not underestimate the power of prayer. We are fighting spiritual warfare. These crimes against our children are from Satan alone and prayer is what will help protect all those involved in rescuing the victims. Pray for the victims, families, law enforcement, and humanitarians involved in ending Human Trafficking.
- Raise Awareness – Connect and share any of the mentioned organizations on social media to raise awareness. Contact a local human trafficking organization using this link to see how you can volunteer. Feel free to share this blog post on your social media pages using the links below as well as connecting on Instagram @leahlivelyblog
The intention of this article is to inform and open your eyes to the most horrific crimes on our children in the world today. It sickens me that the US has the highest demand for Human Trafficking in the world. While our country is arguing over other issues, Human Trafficking is being largely overlooked. Open your eyes, minds, and ears to the cries of our children.