National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month. So What?

Twenty million people would rejoice to know we’re in the midst of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  They would be overjoyed to that the United States has declared war on human trafficking.  And that we are  committed to stopping those who ply this horrific trade.

Well, maybe not the entire country, but a good many of us.  And the first step is to become aware.

Did you know:

  • That an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the  world are victims of human trafficking?  That means there are more slaves in the world today than ever before in recorded history!
  • That besides sex and labor, people are trafficked in order to harvest their organs?
  • That living in poverty and desperation leave people vulnerable to traffickers?
  • That families can  be so desperate that they sell their own daughters to pay debts?
  • That victims stay with abusers because of force, threats, and terrorizing?
  • That victims get to where they cannot imagine there is any possible place of refuge for them?
  • That an estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease,  torture, and neglect?
  • That according to a 2009 Washington Times article, the Taliban buys children  as young as seven years old to be suicide bombers?
  • That UNICEF reports than an estimated 300,000 children under 18 are trafficked  to serve in armed conflicts around the world?
  • That Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about human trafficking?
  • That trafficking occurs in all 50 states of the union, but most happens in New York, California, and Florida?
  • That traffickers often use airports to hold “slave auctions,” where  women and children are sold into prostitution?
  • That human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises because it holds few risks and enormous profits?
  • That often, when a sex slave is arrested, she is thrown in prison while her trafficker  buys his way out?
  • That according to the U.S. State Department, human trafficking ranks as one of the greatest  human rights challenges of this century?

So, how do you feel?  Disgusted?  Shocked?  Alarmed?  Good!  You should be, and so should every one of us.  January is the perfect month to determine that you will be a voice for the voiceless.

Someone was a voice for little Grace, and she is a slave no longer!

 

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Nelson Mandela

 

About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. I love to write, and speak, about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Japan and South Korea, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with John Newton, 17th century slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland. In West Africa I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall. I was struck dumb. From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Maybe you will choose to be a 21st century abolitionist too.
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