‘He will rescue them from oppression and violence for precious is their blood in His sight.’ Psalm 72:14
More than 27 million people live as modern day slaves and they are some of the most abused and vulnerable people on the face of the earth. Human Trafficking is the sale, transport and profit of people who are forced to work for others against their will. Many are forced to work in the sex trade; others are exploited in sweatshops or as domestic workers; and children as young as 9 are being kidnapped to fight as child soldiers. This trade in human life is taking place on a vast global scale and is the world’s fastest growing crime. The statistics are shocking.
1.2 million children are trafficked every year - two every minute
The average age of a trafficking victim is just 14 years
$9.5 billion is made through human trafficking each year
The UN estimates that 80% of people trafficked are taken for sexual exploitation.
Hope for Justice is a Christian human rights organisation dedicated to fighting human trafficking in all its forms. Their vision is to be the hand that rescues people from the abuse of human trafficking, to be practically involved in their restoration and to pursue justice. To achieve this Hope for Justice:
Hope for Justice is a Christian human rights organisation dedicated to fighting human trafficking in all its forms. Their vision is to be the hand that rescues people from the abuse of human trafficking, to be practically involved in their restoration and to pursue justice.
To achieve this Hope for Justice:
In a consumer driven society, the choices we make everyday when we shop for food and clothing are impacting on the lives of innocent people. In West Africa, trafficked children are forced to work on cocoa plantations, producing the raw ingredients to make chocolate we eat. The human cost involved in many of the products we buy is great. We pay for them with money but others are paying for it with their lives.
“The beatings were a part of my life, anytime they loaded you with bags (of cocoa beans) and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again.”
“After my parents died I was left totally alone. Someone I trusted offered to help me by getting me a job in the UK, but within days of leaving West Africa I was forced to work in a brothel on the South Coast of England. I was just 15.”
We can often think that trafficking is an overseas problem, but this story is repeated many times in cities across our nation. Some girls are trafficked from other countries, others are forced into prostitution after being groomed by an older man pretending to be their boyfriend. They are then trafficked internally within the UK. It is happening on our doorstep. However many people don't even realise it exists. A poll by child protection charity Ecpat UK and the Bodyshop in August 2009 showed that 1 in 10 people didn't think child trafficking happened in this country and 34% thought trafficked children only ended up overseas. Their report also identified the UK as a destination and hub for the transit if trafficked children, with youngsters arriving from 52 different countries in a single year.
We need to help raise awareness in our local communities, inform people about trafficking and inspire them to do something about it. It is happening in our country, our cities and our neighbourhoods - and this makes it our responsibility to do something.
Isaiah 58:9 says: ‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?..
‘Justice is truth in action’. There are many ways to help. You could start an ‘Act for Justice’ group in your area and meet with other like-minded people to pray and take action to bring change. There is a desperate need for more lawyers, lobbyists and investigators to get involved in helping trafficked people and prosecuting those responsible. From fundraising to contacting politicians to voice your concerns, or raising awareness in your local community. Everyone can do something. Visit www.hopeforjustice.org.uk to find out more.
Pray. Pray to see hope, freedom and justice released on the earth and ask God to give you His heart for the poor and oppressed. Pray for specific people and situations or issues of injustice asking God to break through their situation. Look out for stories in the media about trafficking or slavery. Pray for the work of Hope for Justice and other organisations involved in rescuing people and ask God to protect those who are working on the frontline taking part in slave rescues.