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What You Can Do To Fight Human Trafficking

2010 January 11
by Julie Clawson

baby selling adToday is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. There are some 27 million people held in slavery in our world today – many of them kidnapped and trafficked victims. Children stolen from their families to work in the cocoa fields. Young girls who know of no other life than give sex to men – girls as young as 5 or 6. Women promised a decent job who end up locked inside some rich persons house without papers forced to clean, cook, and provide sex for the husband. People are used, people are treated as objects to make our life easier or more pleasurable. We all participate in the system. Even if we don’t pay for sex – our cheap produce was picked by slaves, our clothes were sewn by slaves, our dishes were washed by slaves. We are all funding systems of slavery and human trafficking. We are all pimps.

If that pisses you off – it should. Don’t roll your eyes, or say it’s preposterous. Get over yourself and deal with it. Truth is truth even if it hurts.

So be aware. Be responsible. And help put an end to oppression.

Here are just a few really basic ways to get started fighting human trafficking and modern day slavery.

  • Encourage lawmakers to stop punishing prostitutes and illegal immigrants. Most trafficked people in the US are afraid to speak up or escape because they fear the government – with good cause. They need to have the freedom to escape from bondage, and we need to be there to help restore them – not punish them.
  • Stop buying/downloading porn. Statistically a majority of the people who read this site do. Stop encouraging a system that objectifies women and feeds the idea that they can just be used for men’s pleasure.
  • Encourage feminism. Many of the girls sold into sex slavery are the unwanted girls of families in cultures that value males. Selling them is easier on the family than feeding an unwanted mouth. If women were seen as equals everywhere, less men would use them as mere objects.
  • Buy only fairly traded clothing and food. Slavery exists in sweatshops and farms. Recently the U.S. government has rounded up slaves in New York clothing factories, Florida tomato farms, and among Katrina clean up crews in New Orleans. Tell companies with your dollars that you only support practices where employees are treated and paid fairly – and allowed to be a free human being.
  • Support microloans and charity for education. Desperation and lack of education create the conditions for slavery to thrive. Those conditions must change if slavery is to end.

Or check out sites like What’s Your Response?, Or IJM, or Not for Sale, Or Stop the Traffick. Get informed and start working for change. The truth is if we aren’t doing crap about this – we are complicit in supporting slavery. Let’s follow Jesus and release the chains of oppression instead.

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16 Responses leave one →
  1. January 11, 2010

    I really appreciate that you bring up number 1. That is a huge issue. I don’t know that I would speak up if I knew the US government was against me. I encourage people to let their lawmakers know how they feel about this issue.

    My husband and I have been striving to buy fairly traded food and clothing. I am wondering if you can give some websites/information about where to find out true information about companies. I have heard things, but I am not sure what to believe or who to trust out there. What do you think?

  2. January 12, 2010

    Thanks for this post. We need more political will to stop this and the churches do need to be on the front lines advocating for “little ones” of the world. I don’t think it helps either when our nations import so much from countries like China, which could care less about respecting and protecting their citizens’ universal human rights. As people of faith, in addition to what you’ve listed here, we also need to remember these precious people in prayer.

  3. January 12, 2010

    Great suggestions that most of us can implement right now. I connect with your anger and frustration…this is horrible. Hard to believe it is so rampant. True: “We are all funding systems of slavery and human trafficking. We are all pimps.”

  4. Emergent Mother permalink
    January 14, 2010

    What does the porn industry have to do with human trafficking? Seems kind of out of place in your article.

    • Kristen permalink
      May 10, 2014

      There are plenty of women, and tons of children, in porn who are not there of their own free will. Personally, I wish she would have stated that as the reason to be aware when it comes to porn. I don’t think porn in and of itself necessarily creates trafficking. Porn where the women are happy to be there and having a great time is healthy. But many women are NOT wanting to be there, some are full on sexual slaves, and probably ALL the children in porn are not wanting to be there, yeah? So, I would have said, Only watch porn that you know where it comes from, and that the women want to be there and are having a great time. You can google ‘women-positive porn,’ ‘feminist porn,’ and pro-woman porn’ for some ideas.

  5. Aleesha permalink
    January 25, 2010

    To whom it may concern:
    Hello, I am Alesha Rourke and I am in the ninth grade at Covenant Christian School in Leduc, Alberta. My class is doing a project that focuses on the injustice in the world. Our job is to make a difference and put a positive effect on this issue. So for my topic I chose Human Trafficking because it really interests me. I see advertisements for it everywhere and I want to be apart of eliminating Human Trafficking in our world. I don’t like the injustice that is going on, and I want to make a positive difference.
    I realize you’re an expert in this area. If there is any additional information, or anything could you please send it to me, to help me learn more about this topic, I would appreciate it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read over my letter, and I hope you can help me with my project. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Alesha Rourke

  6. darin permalink
    March 5, 2010

    screw those traffickers they all deserve to die

  7. Hannah ;) permalink
    March 14, 2012

    This helped me learn a lot about trafficking. I’m now doing my research paper for English 10 on it. I’m so interested in helping this cause STOP. i will do anything to help with making shirts, putting it on coasters for bars, just the simple number of the trafficking hotline, and STOP TRAFFICKING. xx

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