The human trafficking industry generates worldwide profits of 12 billion dollars per year, according to the International Justice Mission. Last November, we hosted a home viewing of IJM’s “At the End of Slavery” documentary in order to raise awareness of this issue. We have a global crisis, but few have any idea of its existence, much less its magnitude.
Fortunately, many are doing something to increase awareness and to support interventions. Tonight in Dallas, TX, the IJM will host a benefit event at the Fairmont Hotel to raise thousands for their many international efforts to stop human trafficking around the world. Today, Children’s Hopechest President Tom Davis blogged about the sex trafficking happening right here in the U.S. via Craigslist – where a reported 1/3 of their revenue comes from sex ads – and encouraged his readers to boycott and to spread the word.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking at a women’s retreat where I met Tomi Grover, Texas Baptists Community and Restorative Justice Director, who works with the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ “Traffick Stop”. According to the BGCT, “It is estimated that 15-17,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year,” including men, women and children for sexual and labor exploitation.
The human slave trade is not a thing of the past. We often view it as something dead, or at least dying. On the contrary, the slave industry is alive and well, growing and thriving by the day. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and some U.S. territories. It may even be happening in your own neighborhood.
Today’s Christians quickly raise their “pro-life” and “religious freedom” banners. What about the lives and freedoms of the millions around the world who are enslaved? Will you raise a banner for them?