On December 31, 2015, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation in which he declared January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:
…let us recognize the victims of trafficking, and let us resolve to build a future in which its perpetrators are brought to justice and no people are denied their inherent human rights of freedom and dignity.
One year later, National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month dawns on us and we face the sobering truth that much work remains to guarantee those dignities endowed by our Creator. People trafficking is the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organized crime. The 2016 Global Slavery Index reported that 45.8 million people are living in modern slavery today, a number that dwarfs previous estimates of 27-30 million. This business of trafficking men, women and children is a lucrative one. Those who profit net approximately $150 billion dollars each year, $51 billion through labor trafficking and $99 billion through sex trafficking.
These statistics are staggering, and it’s demoralizing to see them growing rather than diminishing. Are all our efforts for naught? Is it worth fighting human trafficking at all? Evil is gaining ground as the tally of casualties rises.
A typical response is that our hearts are wrenched. We feel a sense of urgency: “What can I do? How can I make a difference?” And then life gets busy and our schedules are full. So we carry on with knowledge of evil that seems far removed from our safe lives.
Our Enemy wants us to believe that we are called to do something about this when we’re older, wiser, or have more time, money or resources. But Scripture tells us otherwise:
(Galatians 5:13-14, The Message)
Preventing human trafficking starts with this fundamental action: “Love others as you love yourself”. This month, let’s strengthen our vision to see others as God does. Let’s arm ourselves with tools to keep the vulnerable at the forefront of our minds and within our embrace.
Life for the Innocent is here to help! Follow LFTI on Instagram and Facebook for practical ways to cultivate compassionate hearts and take a step forward to end slavery. We’ll explore a new theme each week in January:
Each of us is needed to win the battle for human trafficking prevention. While it seems that the odds are against us, we stand firm knowing that the victory has already been won; you and I are fighting the battles that will make our faith our sight. Each slave liberated, every person held back from the clutches of predators, represents territory regained. As the Apostle Paul declares in his letter to the Corinthians:
(2 Corinthians 4:16, 18, NLT)
Dare to Know. Dare to Hope. YOU can make a difference!