Child Trafficking: The Modern Day Slave Trade
Right now, there are around 27 million slaves in the world. Let that number sink in for just a moment. And when I say “slaves”, I mean real slaves: people who are owned by other people, forced to do whatever they are told without pay. Most think slavery was abolished over 100 years ago, but it never went away. It simply became more disguised. In fact, there are more people in slavery worldwide today than there has ever been in human history. It is time we stop allowing ourselves to be deceived, educate ourselves, and fight this terrible injustice.
Some Facts About Human Trafficking:
- The International Labour Organization estimates about 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, though the numbers could be far greater as these statistics are difficult to confirm.
- Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90
- About 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation and 20% involve labor exploitation
- An estimated 600,000 – 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, and about 50% of them are children.
- Slavery occurs in nearly every country in the world, and has been reported in all 50 US states
- The child trafficking industry makes approximately $12 billion a year globally
- UNICEF estimates that 2 children are sold every minute
Now, you might be thinking, “I thought this blog was supposed to be about orphans…what do they have to do with trafficking?” and that is an excellent question. Orphans are among the most vulnerable and least powerful in society. This is exactly why God has called us to look after them. Rick Morton of New Hope Digital Magazine puts it this way, “From their lack of standing and significance in society, orphaned children are easy to exploit. Mostly, when they are taken, they are not missed. When they are abused, they are not heard. And sadly, there is a seemingly endless supply of orphans to be used and cast aside by a depraved system of abusers.”
There are 3 main ways in which an orphan is preyed upon in the trafficking industry. One, some children are sold or given away into slavery by their families, often under the false notion that the child will have a better life, thus becoming orphans in this process. Two, orphan children are abducted off the street with no family to come looking for them. Three, orphans who “age out” of institutions typically have little education and no job skills or life skills. As they have no means to provide for themselves, they are faced with selling the one commodity they have left: themselves.
Not only is the multi-billion dollar sex slave industry preying upon and exploiting orphans, it’s also causing orphans. Obviously, when a women is forced to have sex with multiple partners on a daily basis, there is a high possibility of pregnancy. Unfortunately, many of these women are forced by their pimps to terminate their pregnancies. But for those women in captivity who do give birth, they are unable to care for the child and must give him/her away. And the terrible cycle continues.
Make no mistake, this issue is a global one, and the United States is just as guilty of exploiting children as any other country. But as I prepare to go to Haiti in one month, I’ve learned that the children there are especially vulnerable since the 2010 earthquake…
There are dozens of verses throughout Scripture commanding believers to care for orphans, widows, and the poor. The theme verse for my ministry is Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do right. Seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless, and plead the case of the widow.” God cares about His children. He cares about justice. Psalm 97:2 says that “righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.” And it is our responsibility, as Jesus’ hands and feet, to help those in need however we can. That’s why he tells us in James 1:27 to “look after the orphans and widows in their distress.” We live in a very self-centered world where people only care about themselves. Brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s stand together and begin caring for others more than we care about our own good. The world would be forced to take notice, and these evils that lurk in the darkness would be brought to light.