An estimated 27 million people are trafficked globally on an annual basis, the largest percentage being women and children. Human trafficking is growing in the crime industry, second in scope only to the drug trade and equal to arms. Revenue from human trafficking is estimated at more than $32 billion annually.” *
While awareness of human trafficking, also called modern slavery, has risen in recent years, the problem persists with unbelievable resilience. The sheer scope of the trafficking industry–the amount of money, the huge number of people involved–as well as the way it’s deeply embedded in all of our lives (slave labor is a part of the clothing, textile, mining, and agricultural sectors,just to name a few) can cause us to turn away from this seemingly intractable problem. But what difference could I make? What could I do? we ask ourselves, helplessly.
This Saturday, January 11, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. In fact, President Obama has declared the entire month of January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, to culminate in the celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. What can you do to combat modern slavery? Quite a lot, actually. From learning more, educating your community, organizing professional networks, advocating for legislation, and even examining the choices you make to buy certain things, you and your community can make a difference! Check out resources from:
- The Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Disciples of Christ Women’s Ministries
- The United Church of Christ
- The Episcopal Church
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- United Methodist Women
- American Baptist Women
Another way to combat human trafficking is to support World Day of Prayer USA! The service written by Malaysia in 2012 directly spoke to the need to end human trafficking, and as trafficking disproportionately affects women and girls, organizations that work to end trafficking are often WDP USA grant recipients. Check out two recent organizations to receive WDP USA grants, NOMI Network and International Justice Mission, to learn more.