Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not For Sale...

Please let me take brief moment to shine a light on a growing problem: slavery. You hear about it occasionally in the news as "human trafficking," yet it happens much more than occasionally. It happens every day, everywhere in the world, even "first world" nations, even our own. Children of all ages and adults are enslaved, either sold by their families to pay a debt, or simply kidnapped. Often they are not only subjected to a dehumanizing life of forced labor, those trapped in slavery, children included, are raped and abused or forced into prostitution. And it doesn't matter what color skin or political background they come from, it's all the same: they're not free in even the most basic meaning of the word.

To begin my own involvement, I turned to these groups who not only get the word out but who work actively to free individual slaves, provide a safe harbor and give the support individuals need to escape slavery:

Not For Sale—is an intervention program that staffs safehouses and sponsors individuals so they can be freed.

End It Movement—the first step is knowing this problem exists and spreading the word, using social media as well as other awareness campaigns.

Exodus Cry—focused on prevention through prayer, awareness and reform by changing legislation that allows slavery to proliferate.

This isn't a happy subject, not one we want to think about when there is so much else going on. It's hard to face. But we can't stay in the dark about it. Or not talk about it or call it anything other than what it is. President Obama says this about the issue:

"It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I'm talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery."
Ignore that word "modern", though. It adds a hip vibe to the problem when, in actuality, it is far worse and more people are currently enslaved in far wider reaches across the globe than many times in history. It's overwhelming to consider so let's start by acknowledging they need our help and start looking for a way to help them. Please begin with the first and most potent way to help: pray. Then don't be too shy to talk about it, to share something about it on Facebook or send a tweet on the issue, and then do something.