What do you think of when you hear the word slavery? We think of slavery as a problem of the past, and we probably all envision a scenario that's far less serious than reality. Perhaps we think of how things were in Bible times and envision slavery like the Israelites being held captive by Egypt. When we think of slavery, we think of it as something that's far in the past. We think it's over, but really, it's not.
Every day people are being sold into modern-day slavery, referred to as human trafficking, forced labor, or sex trafficking. It's something that's going on in nearly every single part of the world. It's happening in my city, and it's happening in your city. People are trapped in this, and normally don't survive.
Statistics show that somewhere between 27 to 40 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery. Slavery is not a thing of the past. In fact, it's a situation that is very real and affects the lives of so many people. 200,000 victims are sold into slavery each year, most of whom are girls under 18. There are more people trapped in human trafficking right now than ever before in history. The craziest thing is that human trafficking is illegal, yet it still goes on all around the globe. The ILO (International Labour Organization) says that slavery generates an annual profit of $150 BILLION dollars.
So, what do we do about this? It's easy to feel powerless when these statistics are brought to our attention. But, we are not powerless.
In 2013, the End It Movement was launched at the annual Passion Conference. Together, college students raised $3.3 million dollars towards the movement. The End It Movement's goal is to see the 40 million victims freed. They've teamed up with partners like A21, The Exodus Road, IJM, Not For Sale, and many others to work towards freeing the people that are being held in captivity. Not only are they working towards freeing those who are trapped, but they're also prosecuting the traffickers, and putting an end to this horrible crime.
You can sit back and read that and think, "Well that's great. They must not need my help. They've got this under control." But, they wouldn't be able to do what they do without your help. There are ways you can get involved. And, join the fight to freedom.
It's so important to share what the End It Movement is doing, and get the word out to let people know that modern-day slavery is not okay. Shine A Light On Slavery Day is on February 13th, which is a day where hundreds of people on social media join together to raise their voice for those who don't have one. The End It Movement is asking that everyone who wants to participate draws a red X on their hand, takes a selfie, and posts it on social media using the hashtag "#ENDITMOVEMENT." That's one of the best ways to share what the End It Movement is doing, and is a great conversation starter. These red X's have gained the attention of celebrities, athletes, and politicians, who decided to join in and raise their voices too.
Giving is a huge way you can support the End It Movement. Without money, the End It Movement and their partners would not be able to do what they do. Go here If you want to make a donation.
See Something, Say Something
I think this is the most important step you can take in helping those trapped in human trafficking. The National Human Trafficking Hotline compiled a list of all the signs that will be evident if someone is a victim. Obviously, these signs are not exact indicators that someone is a victim, but knowing the signs and being alert and aware of the people around you could save someone's life. Some of the big red flags will be 1) the person is not free to leave or come and go at will, 2) is fearful, anxious, submissive, or nervous, 3) shows signs of substance use or addiction, 4) is frequently monitored, and 5) shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse. Take a look at the full list of signs.
If all these signs remind you of someone you know, or you suspect human trafficking is going on in your area, or if you are a victim of human trafficking, please don't hesitate to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Call 1-888-373-7888, or text 233733. If there is a human trafficking situation that needs immediate attention, call 911.
So, will you join me on February 13th, Shine A Light On Slavery Day, and use your voice for those who can't speak? Slavery is cruel, but nothing is impossible with God. We can see slavery ended in our lifetime. Matthew 27:22 says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." If we believe, we can see this happen. Of course, there will always be evil in this world, but I believe at some point in time we will see this form of evil ended, and we will see justice prevail.
Are you in it to end it? Let's use our voices for those who can't speak.
Grace Chaves is a fan of all things Christian music, and is one of NRT's youngest writers. She's homeschooled, and loves concerts, Jesus, and songwriting.
NEW! ALBUM REVIEW
Kayne West - 'Jesus Is King' NRT's Dwayne Lacy reviews the new gospel...
NEW! EXCLUSIVE DEVOTIONAL
#995 - "What You Said" by Jon Egan Worship leader talks about the inspiration...
NEW! NRT LISTS
Women of Faith Rock Edition Introducing eight female-fronted rock bands...