When I hear things like "an estimated 600,000 to 820,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders each year," it's all too easy to shake my head in disbelief and carry on. Meena's bravery in sharing her story helps me pause from my status updates, pinning and self-absorption to put a face to ONE of those over half a million victims.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we stand with all those who are held in compelled service; we recognize the people, organizations and government entities that are working to combat human trafficking; and we recommit to bringing an end to this inexcusable human rights abuse.
This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, and in cooperation with our partners around the world, we can work to end this terrible injustice and protect the rights to life and liberty entrusted to us by our forebears and owed to our children.600,000-820,000 trafficked each year. With such high numbers, the issue can feel overwhelming. Is there anything we can do to make a difference?
I think Meena would say other people doing something made all the difference.
So, what can we do?
1 | Become aware.
Learn about the issues of slavery and human trafficking, like the issues of sex-trafficking in Nepal. Explore the information there to learn about the factors that lead to victims being trafficked, the devastating lives awaiting those trafficked, and how Tiny Hands works on prevention.
2 | Pray.
Jesus appoints 70 people to go out before Him, then says, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Luke 10:1-2) In Radical, David shares the importance of what He tells them before sending them out. The work before us is too much. It's necessary that we pray that God will also send others to do His work.
Tiny Hands also encourages us to pray for the victims--the women and girls (some as young as six!) targeted for this terrible injustice. The One Girl Prayer Initiative is an opportunity, and a daily reminder, to pray.
3 | Support.
The people most targeted for trafficking are those in great poverty with little education and a primitive desire for basic needs. They're seeking a way out, and are easily coerced, deceived, or abducted. Help feed these poor, care for these needy, and put orphans in safe homes off the streets.
Buy products that directly support Tiny Hands' work with orphans and victims of the sex-trafficking industry, including my e-book, Shine, and products from the Tiny Hands Store.
Seek to buy fair trade products that ensure slavery or human trafficking had no part in making your purchases.
4 | Spread the word.
You have influence. You know that right? Online and in person, you have an impact on the people around you. Use this opportunity to share what you're learning, and encourage others to join the cause.
Will you get involved?