What if I told you that slavery never went away? What if I told you slavery existed in 161 countries today- including 60,000+ in the United States? What if I told you that each year 1.2 million children are enslaved through forced labor or exploited in the sex industry? What if I told you that the majority of these modern day slaves were between the ages of 18-24? What if I told you the average age of a sex trafficked girl was 13? What if I told you that the sex trafficking industry affected girls as young as 6 years old? What if I told you the average cost of a modern day slave was a mere $90. What if I told you that slavery never went away?
Human trafficking has become the 3rd most profitable crime industry in the world next to drugs and illegal arms trafficking, and some project it to be the number 1 crime industry in the next 5 years- that’s right, some have projected it to make more money than the illegal drug industry within 5 years. Total yearly profits of human trafficking are now over $150.2 billion annually, and the total estimated population of modern day slaves is believed to be more than 30 million.
There are many organizations fighting this disease of forced child labor camps, to indentured servitude, & sex trafficking. Many of these organizations are at the heart of this industry, pulling young women out of their prisons, rehabilitating and renewing their will to live, and putting them back in the world on track to make a new, meaningful life for themselves. These organizations such as: A21, The Exodus Road, the International Justice Mission (IJM), Polaris, and Bombay Teen Challenge are on the ground actively freeing slaves from their captives and working with local authorities to prevent further spread of the trade.
Now, what if I told you that there was something we could do about it? If organizations such as A21, The Exodus Road, or the IJM hope to succeed, then the word must get out that this problem is going on today. Here, in our little corner of East Tennessee, a major corridor runs Interstate 40 connecting the Washington DC/Atlanta pipeline. Awareness of this issue cannot and MUST NOT be understated. Every 2 minutes, a child is bought/sold for sex in this country and the vast majority of people do not realize it is happening.
But that is all changing. Through the help of awareness programs like the End it Movement, former Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, and with the aid of some big voices, congress, over the past 3 years, has allocated serious financial backing to end modern day slavery and human trafficking in this country. We cannot stop there. We cannot stop until every person knows freedom. We cannot stop until every child is safe from sex trafficking, we cannot stop until we decide as a world community that one slave, is one slave too many.
Thursday, February 7, 2019, is national Shine a Light on Slavery Day. People all over the country will be wearing red X’s on their clothes, hands, lapels to let everyone know that this problem still exists. It is fitting that the date is right after the Super Bowl since more people are trafficked at the Super Bowl than any other event. Please, let me encourage you to join me and the rest of the End it Movement community as we Shine a Light on Slavery to let the world know- to let traffickers know- that we are in it to END IT!
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach
*Please visit these non-profits such as A21, Exodus Road, & IJM and help support them in their fight against Human Trafficking*