Slavery is an ugly part of our past that we would gladly forget. But what if you were to discover that slavery is not a thing of the past? What if you were to discover that slavery exists today in every part of the world, including in our own neighborhoods? What would you do?
The facts about human trafficking are startling, sobering and painful. It would be much easier not to even know what is happening in the world today, but God is calling us to become aware and to do something. Below are some of the things you can do to be made more aware of what is going on, and the part you can play to start to make a difference!
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison;and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” — Hebrews 13:1
1. STUDY THE SCRIPTURES
- Read Matthew 22:37-40. How do Jesus’ words direct our response to the issue of human trafficking?
- Read Psalm 9. Consider what this Psalm means to Christians today within the context of our response to the issue of human trafficking. What does it mean that “the Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,” (v. 9) and what part do we play in creating a refuge for the oppressed?
- Read Psalm 82:3-4, and Amos 5. These Scriptures speak very strongly on God’s behalf. If we ignore the cries of those imprisoned, we fail to support the cause of justice in this world. But if we heed God’s voice, we will “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24) How important do you think it is that the Church stand for the defenseless and take a lead role in “breaking the chains”?
- Other references? Click one of the following links: What Does God's Word Say? & Digging Deeper: 10 Points for Bible Study
2. EDUCATE YOURSELF
- Buy a book and watch an online video: for a list of recommendations click here
Read more online:
- Investigate our denomination's resources and stand on the issue.
- Local & global information at Polaris Project
- Current news worldwide on trafficking and sign online petitions: change.org
- Local organizations leading in the fight: Streetlight, ALERT, Not for Sale AZ, Vision Abolition
- Which businesses you may frequent use slavery: free2work, International Labor Rights Forum
- What our federal government is doing to fight the issue: U.S. State Department, TIP Report
- Learn the common signs of persons being trafficked: U.S. State Department
- Learn about and report current local human trafficking activity: SlaveryMap
- Country-specific information: Academy for Educational Development
- Video testimonies of women rescued from traffickers: Center for Investigative Reporting
3. ATTEND HOPE & LOCAL EVENTS TO LEARN MORE
- Join Hope's growing Human Trafficking Task Force, who are meeting together to determine how each interested person can use his/her gifts and passion so th at together we can make a difference, locally and even globally. This group has a vision to seek justice by helping people suffering from human trafficking, generating awareness about the issue, and preventing future cases of human trafficking.
4. SPEAK OUT! MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
- Give to those organizations on the frontlines locally and globally in anti-human trafficking.
- Legislation is pending both locally and nationally around the rapidly unfolding issue of human trafficking. What can you do? Write a letter (templates available), and send it to your legislators!
- When you see someone who you are concerned may be a trafficking victim, report it immediately. Don't be afraid to call!
- Arizona hotline: 888.60.ALERT
- U.S. hotline: 888.373.7888
5. SHOP DIFFERENTLY
- Do you know where your clothes were made? Your coffee? Your chocolate? No one wants to knowingly wear or eat someone's suffering. Educate yourself to know about the products you purchase and which companies guarantee slave-free labor: free2work
- Did you know that two of the most commonly consumed goods in the U.S. that are predominantly grown on the backs of slave labor are coffee and chocol ate?: The Food Revolution
- Some U.S. companies do not take any measures to prevent the purchasing of raw materials from foreign suppliers who use slave labor. Take a stand against those that do by where you decide not to shop, and tell your friends!: International Labor Rights Forum
- A view on corporate and consumer responsibility: Evangelical Covenant Church
6. TELL YOUR FRIENDS
- Look for opportunities to share what you’ve learned with your friends, family, and others in your circle of influence. Even today, so many know so little about the issue!
- Join causes on Facebook, so that your Facebook friends will see them and become more aware! Some great organizations with Facebook fan pages include Stop the Traffik, Polaris Project, Not for Sale, Streetlight Safe House, and Free2Work
- Host a chocolate fondue party, a fun way to educate friends!
7. PRAY FOR
- A heart that is broken by the plight of trafficked people.
- Those trafficked around the world, for profit and exploitation.
- Those trafficked in our own neighborhoods ... migrant workers and our own children at the hands of sex traffickers.
- Those organizations working to free them.
- People to rise up and stop trafficking in their own neighborhoods and countries...people like you!
- The healing and restoration of rescued victims.
- The traffickers, that they be convicted and repent.
- How you might respond in greater ways to make a difference!
- Become a prayer partner with an anti-trafficking organization like Exodus Cry or International Justice Mission.
Help us keep this information updated! Share with us human-trafficking related information you discover, or links that need to be updated. And check back here often!