Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day!
Spread the word about modern day slavery. Tell a friend about the 27 million people enslaved around the world. Decide today to make a difference!

Check out Love 146’s website for a list of organizations working to end modern day slavery.

Our motivation for fighting for justice aligns with God’s heart for the world. That is what spurs me on to continue advocating for victims of Human Trafficking.
He loves us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

And wants us to love his people too.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)

This Christmas, consider what God has done for you, how much He loves you, and how you can better love His people.

One of my favorite holiday activities is cozying up on the couch in a blanket and watching a holiday movie. This year, (once all your favorites have been watched!) consider watching a movie to learn more about Human Trafficking. There are many good ones out there, and while some are documentaries and some Hollywood, both kinds can educate us and break our hearts for what is going on in the world. Here are a few I would recommend:

http://www.amazinggracemovie.com/  (Amazing Grace)

http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/human-trafficking   (Human Trafficking)

http://www.tradethemovie.com/  (Trade)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4038249/  (Terrify No More – News Report)

http://www.kids-with-cameras.org/bornintobrothels/ (Born Into Brothels)

http://secure.ciy.com/store/pc-118-16-baht-dvd-updated-edition.aspx  (Baht)

Consumers have the power when it comes to forced labor. We have the money, and money is power. As long as we are creating a demand for products that are made by slave labor, they will continue to be made.

Here is one way you can help make sure your money is going to companies that are responsible and protect the rights of human beings: use the Better World Shopper Guide. This guide ranks companies on how socially and environmentally responsible they are, helping us make good choices when we shop. Here’s a quote from their website:
As citizens, on average, we might vote once ever 4 years, if at all. As consumers, we vote every single day with the purest form of power…money.
The average American family spends around $18,000 each year on goods and services. Think of it as casting 18,000 votes every year for the kind of world you want to live in. Use this site to take back your power.

Are you looking for a unique gift for someone this holiday? Or, maybe you have someone on your list that doesn’t “need” anything, but you’d like to give them something anyway? Here are two ways you can give the gift of freedom to someone across the globe and at the same time check off your Christmas to-do list!

Give the gift of freedom in honor of someone by donating to the International Justice Mission. Click here.

Send an Ecard and a donation in honor of a loved one from Love 146. Click here.

“break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad”  (Isaiah 58:6)

 

For today’s post I wanted to share with you a post from http://www.change.org’s blog on Human Trafficking. Here are some statistics and a call to action:

The numbers around child slavery and exploitation are simply staggering, and there aren’t enough people fighting back.

More than 150 million children younger than 14 years-old are child laborers — one in six children in the world. Those children do hazardous work in mines or on farms, often handling chemicals and pesticides or working near dangerous machinery. Others toil as domestic servants in homes or workshops.

Another 300,000 children under 18 are child soldiers used as combatants, messengers, porters, cooks, or sexual servants in some 30 conflicts worldwide. They are most often forcibly recruited or abducted, or feel so helpless and overwhelmed by poverty they are driven to join the fight.

Girls are particularly vulnerable. Some as young as 13 are trafficked as “mail-order brides.” Nearly 90% of domestic workers trafficked in West and Central Africa are girls.

It’s an epidemic that isn’t getting enough attention from governments worldwide — and Change.org members can help change that.

Click here to take a stand now against child slavery and exploitation and demand that governments protect and uphold the basic rights of all children.

Once you add your name, will you forward this email to friends and family? We can fight this, but only if people know how bad the situation really is.

Thank you for taking action,

The Change.org Team

P.S. You can learn a lot more about what Change.org members are doing to fight human trafficking of all kinds at http://humantrafficking.change.org.

 

Two ways you can stay informed on the latest news on Human Trafficking in our world:

1. Subscribe to Change.org’s Human Trafficking blog for interesting articles on a variety of topics surrounding the issue.

2. Add “Human Trafficking” to your Google Alerts.  You’ll receive the latest news on Human Trafficking each day!

Human Trafficking exists all over the world, including America.  What is our government doing to end modern-day slavery?

Thankfully, there are recent strides being made in policy.  In 2000, Congress passed the first comprehensive Federal law to protect victims of trafficking and prosecute traffickers. It is called the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-386). According to the US Department of Health and Social Services, there are three goals included in the law when passed in 2000, nicknamed the “3 p’s”
TVPA Goals:
• Prevent human trafficking overseas
• Protect victims and help them rebuild their lives in the U.S. with Federal and state support
• Prosecute traffickers of persons under stiff Federal penalties
The TVPA was recently improved, reauthorized and renamed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. This revision also added a fourth “p” to the goals: partnership among the public and private sectors in the anti-trafficking movement.

Also, this year, the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report was published. This report, done by the United States, assesses countries’ efforts against modern-day slavery based on a 3-tier system. This year, for the first time ever, the United States was included in the TIP report. For more information of the report, click here. To see how countries ranked on the report, click here.

Thankfully, our current administration (with great efforts from Sec. of State Hillary Clinton) is more committed than ever to address this topic and do something about it.

Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, quoted President Obama when he addressed an audience at the Department of Justice’s National Human Trafficking Conference in Washington, DC on May 3, 2010: As President Obama stated: “The victims of modern slavery have many faces. They are men and women, adults and children. Yet, all are denied basic human dignity and freedom. Victims can be abused in their own countries, or find themselves far from home and vulnerable. Whether they are trapped in forced sexual or labor exploitation, human trafficking victims cannot walk away, but are held in service through force, threats, and fear. All too often suffering from horrible physical and sexual abuse, it is hard for them to imagine that there might be a place of refuge. We must join together as a Nation and global community to provide that safe haven by protecting victims and prosecuting traffickers. With improved victim identification, medical and social services, training for first responders, and increased public awareness, the men, women, and children who have suffered this scourge can overcome the bonds of modern slavery, receive protection and justice, and successfully reclaim their rightful independence.”

It’s December 1st and there’s snow on the ground…I guess the Holiday season is upon us! My tree is up, and I’ll admit, I have played a Christmas song or two. 🙂
As much as I love the Holidays, part of me cringes when I think about the enormous amount of money spent this month. In 2008, $10,600,000,000 was spent by U.S. shoppers on Black Friday alone. That same amount of money could wipe out world hunger for 10 months. We are consumers. We have money. With money, comes power and responsibility. What we do with our money matters.

A significant way we can make a difference when it comes to Human Trafficking is by how we spend our money.

When we buy a product, we create a demand. Companies will do whatever it takes to supply for that demand….and I mean whatever it takes. Even enslaving human beings. When companies are not held accountable for how their products are made, they are able to exploit people and can get away with it. It doesn’t have to be like this. We can make them change. We can stop buying their products until they treat their workers fairly. Sound like something you’d like to do? Check out this website to see which companies are slave-free, and this website to find Fair Trade Holiday Gifts.

Another way we (as consumers) can make a difference this holiday is to buy products that help survivors of Human Trafficking. When you purchase these products, your money directly benefits programs that help these survivors overcome their experiences in slavery. You get to give a unique gift and change a life at the same time! Check out this site for places to start your shopping!

There are lots of terms  that get thrown out when talking about this topic; so many aspects to the subject that they can easily get confused. Here are the basics, along with an attempt to explain them…

Slavery: a system by which human beings are the property of others. This can come in LOTS of forms.

Human Trafficking: illegal trade in human beings for a commercial purpose, be it sexual exploitation or forced labor. There are two parts: first, there must be some kind of fraud, coercion, fear, or force used against the individual, and there must be some kind of commercial value in the work they are doing.

Sex Trafficking: illegal trade in human beings explicitly for sexual exploitation (so…there is someone who illegally takes a person as their own property and sells that person to someone else for sexual purposes.)

Bonded Labor: a situation when a person provides a loan to another and uses his or her labor or services to repay the debt. However, the debt is so large  and the pay is so minimal that the person could never fully pay back the debt. They are “indebted” to them.  This kind of slavery can go on for generations because the so-called “debt” becomes so large it can never be paid back. Individuals in this situation have no choice but to work under terrible, often inhumane conditions, with no possibility of ever leaving.

Domestic Servitude/Slavery: someone who works within an employer’s household doing household chores, caring for children, etc. However, the person becomes completely dependent on the employer, enslaved, humiliated, hidden, and unable to leave due to threats and violence.

Whatever the form, however it looks, it is slavery. It is wrong. The more we know, them more we can do. More next time…