Posted by: JennyRain | June 21, 2010

Trafficking: The Not-So-Subtle Violation of a Person’s Soul

Without knowledge, my people perish.

Each week at work I look forward to Fridays. Not because it is the end of the week, but because Friday four to eight ladies silently pad into the South Conference room to stuff bulletins.

During the bulletin-stuffing-time, these ladies – who range in age between fifty and eighty-five – talk about their lives, share about their experiences, and enjoy each other’s company.

I get to listen, learn, and laugh, a lot because the wealth of knowledge these ladies share with me is invaluable.

Last week we fell into a discussion about my trafficking post and I was astonished to learn that none of these sweet, caring ladies had ever heard of human trafficking.

Decades of knowledge sitting around the table every Friday and NOT ONE of them had heard of trafficking.

So I took the opportunity to educate them and realized in that moment that there is a whole sub-set of our culture who knows nothing about trafficking. Still.

Wow.

This week I will be focusing on this issue of human trafficking.

My hope is that I will increase my own education of the subject and in the process of my research, educate others as well.

Trafficking is defined by the Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 as follows:

Over the past 15 years, “trafficking in persons” or “human trafficking” have been used as umbrella terms for activities involved when one person obtains or holds another person in compelled service. The TVPA describes this compelled service using a number of different terms: involuntary servitude, slavery, debt bondage, and forced labor.

Under the TVPA, a person may be a trafficking victim regardless of whether they once consented, participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked, were transported into the exploitative situation, or were simply born into a state of servitude. At the heart of this phenomenon are the myriad forms of enslavement – not the activities involved in international transportation.

Trafficking takes many of the following forms:

Child Prostitution and sex trafficking
Child Soldiers
Forced Child Labor
Involuntary Domestic Servitude
Debt Bondage Among Migrant Workers
Bonded Labor
Sex Trafficking
Forced Labor

Children are not the only victims. Women are not the only victims. Men and adults are captured and forced into this insidious life by unscrupulous profit chasers. This week you will hear stories from the victims.

The series will discuss the following questions:

What is trafficking? Is it only sex?
Where do victims of trafficking originate from? Where are they taken to?
Is trafficking only an international issue or does it impact the United States too?
How are people trafficked? How young are people trafficked?
Who is doing something to combat this issue and how can I get involved?
What does trafficking “look” like? (stories from trafficking victims)

Trafficking is not an issue I feel called to.

But I am convinced God will use whatever resources are willing and available to fight injustice, so here I am. Trafficking is something that I have become interested in because several of my friends have been in the fight against it and last week when I ran into something on trafficking every day as I prayed “God show me where you are working so that I can join you there” I realized that I can do more – even from the confines of my blog – I can do more to educate, challenge, and inspire others who are in the fight against this dastardly sin.

I can do more. You can do more. We can do more.

My challenge to you is this…

Do a little research of your own this week and find out if there are people around you who have not yet heard of this issue. If there is ignorance around you, take five minutes to educate another person.

You never know if the person you are educating may be a policy maker of the future, or a future freedom fighter for the enslaved, a government official, or the CEO of a ministry designed to fight against trafficking.

Just. Five. Minutes.

That’s all it takes.

Five minutes and we may never have to hear a story like Anna’s – ever again:

Albania-Western Europe
Anna’s trafficker kept her in submission through physical abuse – beating her, raping her, and slicing her with knives. He abducted her from Albania and took her to a Western European country, where she was forced into prostitution for about five months. He then took her to a second Western European country, where she told border authorities she was traveling on a falsified passport in hopes of getting help. The police sent her to a refugee camp where two Albanian social workers released her back to her trafficker. During more than four years of subsequent forced prostitution in the second destination, Anna was made to undergo four abortions. When her trafficker was deported to Albania, five years after her initial abduction, Anna went to police with information about the trafficking ring. Two days later, she too was deported to Albania, where the trafficker continued his threats and abuse. Anna pursued prosecution of her trafficker in Albania, but he remains free. She has been denied residency and assistance from several Western European countries, including the ones in which she was exploited. She was able to resettle in the United States where she is continuing her rehabilitation and studying to become a nurse. (US Dept of State: Trafficking in Persons Report 2010)

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Responses

  1. Glad you are getting people informed. Did you know the International Justice Mission headquarters are in your back yard? You should check out their global prayer gathering if you don’t already know about it…
    http://www.ijm.org/

  2. Great post. I’m so excited you’re in the battle now.

    I just wish the Lord would open up a way for me to use my gifts and abilities full time to fight the battle. 🙂

  3. I’m glad you are bringing awareness to this issue… is needs to be heard.
    Bless your heart, Jenny! The world needs people like you… continue in your passion!

  4. […] Posted in Women, writing | Tags: Blogging, sharing story, sharing your stories, Story, Women, writing, writing your story « Trafficking: The Not-So-Subtle Violation of a Person’s Soul […]

  5. I am so glad that people and organizations are fighting to stop human trafficking across the globe but especially here in our backyard. When I came across the Girls Education and Mentoring Services I was so happy that they allowed me to team up and donate proceeds from my art sales to help them.
    I wanted to create an organization that did what they do and then I found them doing what I wanted to do. Though they beat me to the punch I am elated they are doing such good work.
    Keep spreading the word about human trafficking and lets help stop the spread of this disgusting industry.

    • I love that you do this… I notice you have a photo-blog so I can’t wait to visit it 🙂 I am an avid fan of awesome artists!


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