September is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. You may think, So what? I don’t live in an impoverished area of the world where such things transpire. It has nothing to do with me. I would suggest, if you are human, no matter where you live, it has something to do with you. I’ve talked about this before, but I feel once is not enough, given the statistics.
Here are some statistics according to Redeemed Ministries from my area of Texas, a major metropolitan area of diverse cultures:
- Advertised Modeling Studios, Massage Parlors, and Relaxation spas…over 200
- Advertised Gentleman Clubs (Strip Clubs)…over 100
- Cantinas (Mexican Bars where women are bought and sold as sex slaves)…over 200
- Hotel/Motel, Apartment and Residential Prostitution & Street…unknown numbers
- Advertisements on Craigslist…
On their website, they share these facts:
QUICK FACTS: HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Human Trafficking in general: Estimated between 28 – 30 million people worldwide.
Roughly 80% of those are female.
Roughly 50% are children.
Human Trafficking generates approximately 32 billion dollars annually.
Human Trafficking is 2nd only to Drug Trafficking. Why? You can sell a gun once, you can sell a bag of cocaine once but you can sell a human over and over and over.
Roughly 14,500 – 17,500 victims are brought into the US annually for the purpose of Trafficking. Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking are different crimes. Sometimes Human Trafficking involves Human Smuggling.
It is estimated that we currently have approximately 600,000 – 800,000 domestic (that is US citizens) victims of Human Trafficking being trafficked within our borders.
Of those, approximately 300,000 – 500,000 are domestic Sex Trafficking victims. Domestic victims are harder to detect because they blend in more.
The average age of entry into the Commercial Sex Industry is 12. The age will continue to decrease as the demand increases. The most frequent form of recruitment known is through peers. Girls are also recruited off of Facebook, MySpace and other social media sites and chat rooms.
Victims are generally trafficked into the United States from Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. Many do not speak or understand English, and are further isolated and unable to communicate with relief organizations, law enforcement and others who might be able to help them.
Rapha House gives this definition of Human Trafficking:
Human trafficking is defined by the UN as the “illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor; a modern day form of slavery.”
The United Nations estimates nearly 2.5 million people from 127 different countries are trafficked each year. Although the statistics are difficult to verify, it is believed that between one million and 1.5 million children are trafficked each year.
Human Trafficking is broken down into two different areas.
The International Labor Organization estimates that nearly 250 million children are indentured through debt bondage, forced recruitment for armed conflict, prostitution, pornography and the illegal drug trade. Both adults and children can be victims of debt bondage. Often the victim is forced into bonded labor or sex acts to repay undefined debt that increases faster than the victim can repay.
Children are often the most vulnerable victims of trafficking.
Age is not a qualifier. Both small children and teenagers are often tricked, coerced, or sold into prostitution, pornography, or forced labor. Many are transported across borders into the global sex trade and are never again reunited with their families.
Free the Captives believes as long as there is a demand for the sale of humans, there will be trafficking. They suggest stronger efforts be put in place to end the demand. Especially during peak events like major sporting events and conventions.
At the bottom of my blog is a number to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center to learn more. Any of these agencies, and others, will give information to educate you on this horrendous problem, and ways you can get involved in stopping this madness.
At the very least, we can pray.
Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 Good News Translation (GNT)
I wish you well.
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