Do you think that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation? Most of the time when we think of human trafficking, we think of people brought from Africa to work in the Southern plantations before the Civil War. Thanks to God and brave abolitionists, that ended long ago.
Unfortunately, that didn’t mean the end of human trafficking. According to the Human Trafficking Awareness Day page on Facebook:
30 Million people are Trafficked for sex globally each year-3 Million of those are children and 200,000 of those children are right here in the USA. This makes the United States the world’s #1 Sex tourism destination. Sadly, There are twice as many slaves today as their were in Abraham Lincoln’s time. (Note: errors in original; emphasis mine)
OATH (Bringing Abolitionists Together to Expose and End Slavery) lists the following kinds of human trafficking on its site:
- Labor Trafficking
- Sex Trafficking
- Domestic Trafficking
- Child Sex Trafficking
- Child Porn
- Other Trafficking
Today’s slaves aren’t necessarily captured and carried away on a ship as the African slaves were. Often they are enticed and lured. A poor father in a developing country is enticed by the promise of a good job. When he accepts the offer and agrees to the fee, he is brought to the US and put into servitude to work off the debt that never diminishes. A runaway teenage girl is lured into prostitution by a pimp, who then controls her life. A child is sold by his family to a man who uses the child in porn or prostitution. A preteen girl is enticed by a promise of a career in movies and ends up being held captive and forced to perform in porn movies.
Illegal immigration isn’t human trafficking unless the person is brought to the US by someone who refuses to let the laborer go and forces him or her to work with little or no pay.
Prostitution isn’t human trafficking unless the prostitute is controlled by a pimp who controls her life and takes her money.
Child porn and prostitution are always human trafficking because minors cannot legally consent to have sex with an adult, yet consider how prevalent child sex trafficking is (from OASIS):
All children under the age of 18, whether foreign national or U.S. Citizen found in the commercial sex industry (stripping, prostitution or pornography) are victims of human trafficking.
Studies show that 100,000 to 300,000 U.S. kids are moved into the commercial sex industry every year in America. Additionally, 1.5 to 2.4 million vulnerable kids run away from home each year with reports that as many as 2/3 of the runaway girls and boys resort to “survival sex” within 48 hours of leaving home. Reports also show that 1/3 of the these runaway girls are coerced by pimps and traffickers to become underage commercialized sex workers – creating the next generation of prostitutes that will meet the growing demand of men who pay for sex.
The average age of a prostitute globally has dropped to 14 years old. The average age here in the U.S. when a girl is recruited into commercial sexual exploitation by her first pimp is 12 to 13. …
… If a person is found to be manufacturing or distributing child pornography, that can now be prosecuted under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act as human trafficking with a minimum sentence of 20 years to life in federal prison.
Experts estimate that 5 million images of children circulate the Internet each day. Up to 60,000 new images are loaded onto the Internet each day. It is estimated that 20% of the pornography on the Internet is that of children being sexually exploited. The majority of child pornography is prepubescent.
90% of these images and videos are homemade by individuals. 6% are of infants or toddlers.
The demand for this market: 99% are men… an estimated 91% are Caucasian. America has long been known as the #1 producer and #1 user of Child pornography. (Emphasis mine)
O GOD, We humbly beseech thee, of thy goodness, to comfort and succour all victims of human trafficking of all kinds and in all places. Give them a right understanding of thy promises; that, trusting wholly in thy mercy, they may not place their confidence anywhere but in thee. Relieve the distressed and protect the innocent; and forasmuch as thou alone bringest light out of darkness, and good out of evil, grant to these thy servants, that by the power of thy Holy Spirit they may be set free from the chains of servitude, and may be brought to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.