It's something so horrible and awful I truly cannot even begin to imagine it.
And it's in the news...again.
I just came across The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern Slavery. I discovered it today while reading the news (yes. I do that. On a variety of sites to make sure I get a complete array of viewpoints.) And it's what I was looking for. Further confirmation I'm not the only one that thinks this is a problem. And I'm looking on their site to see what organizations they discuss...and WHAM...IJM pops up. Yessir. It's a God thing (yes. I just said God spoke to me through CNN. Crazy. I know.)
Here's the thing. Let me educate you a bit.
- The UN estimates that between 10 and 30 MILLION people in the world are enslaved. Women, children...even some men. This is in a variety of different trades, not just the sex industry. Sometimes even the food you eat...may have been picked or caught by a slave. For obvious reasons, we don't have an exact number. Which means...it's probably higher than we really think
- The average cost of a slave during the pre-Civil War era (adjusted for inflation) would be about $40,000 of today's US dollars. The average cost of a slave today? $90. Why are we so outraged about what happed 200 years ago in our nation, but we aren't upset about the modern-day slaves today? Do we think that they deserve it? Or do we just want to ignore the problem?
- The human trafficking industry is now one of the fastest growing illegal enterprises in the world. It's tied with arms smuggling and second only to the illicit drug trade.
- Many of these people didn't choose to become slaves (like we would think). They were either sold in to slavery by a family member or they were lured to a big city or another country with the promise of a god job (so that they could support their families).
- It's estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 children are at risk in the UNITED STATES (um, hello. That's where you and me live) at getting trapped in the sex trade industry.
- I know when I think of these children, these young girls, I tend to think of Hispanics and Asians. So, I'm normally able to distance myself a bit from it all. I can pretend they are here illegally and all. But, NINETY percent of the cases in Atlanta (not too far from where I live)...are African American girls. Girls that were raised in poverty and tried to run away. Girls stuck in the foster care system. Girls...just like you and me...that at 13 and 14 should be talking about how cute Justin Bieber is...not having to sleep with 50 to 60 middle aged men...a day.
- These girls start out thinking they found a cute older boyfriend. Little do they know...he's not really that into her. Then, he asks her to introduce him to her friend. Or bring him someone she goes to school with. And the cycle continues and multiplies.
- For more information and stories, go here.
I literally feel nauseated just thinking about it. It's sickening to think that this is happening on our doorstep...within the city walls. And the fact that it's getting out in the open and people (like CNN) are reporting about it and advocating for these people is amazing. But here's the thing...it's not just children who are trapped in this industry. There are women, too. Sometimes...they're misled about what they are doing and it's all they can do. Sometimes...they aren't allowed to leave and stop. Sometimes there is someone bigger and stronger. So, next time you hear about something/someone....speak up. Maybe it's for their better good. Yes, she may go to jail. But, she may also me rescued. Don't judge and think someone chose that profession. Let me tell you, 11 year old girls are not capable of making that decision. Get educated guys. Think about it. And tell everyone you know. Together (with God's help) we CAN change this. We can free people. Lives can be changed. And God can be glorified.