Assignment 1 - Human Trafficking

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Human Trafficking is the practice of people being tricked, lured, coerced or otherwise removed from their home or country, and then forced to work with no or low payment or on terms which are highly exploitative.[1] These people are usually forced into prostitution or labour, with only enough 'pay' to keep themselves alive. This is not people smuggling, those people voluntarily try to move countries.

People who are trafficked have no say in what they do. They are kept under control by a series of tactics ranging from physical threats/abuse to having a debt to a trafficker that they can't repay with their 'income'. Many of these people are women and many are forced into prostitution in other countries. The course I've been doing at YWAM Kona is the PhotogenX Discipleship Training School. Previous students of this course went on to create the Sex+Money project, which focusses on women being trafficked within and into America. While my New Zealand readers won't necessarily be able to relate to this I think these guys and girls deserve a lot of credit for looking in their own back yard. This isn't an over-there issue for them.

In my research I found words like 'epidemic' cropping up. I also found a 2009 news article basically saying "it could be happening in New Zealand, but we don't know". This is not to scare monger and make out New Zealand has a large problem, because we don't. This however is not a reason to think we are immune, it's a call to be vigilant. When the swine flu epidemic hit everyone was aware - you'd see news stories every night on the status of the flu. Vigilance meant less deaths.

In our group times we have been praying for this situation. One thing we keep coming back to is praying for the people doing this. I'm ashamed to say it's mostly men. Maybe it's because we're more physically able, less emotional or because we have strong sex drives, but whatever it is, it's not acceptable. It's also not just something limited to back alleys in dodgy neighbourhoods either. There is an accusation that Steven Seagal has trafficked women in the media right now. The validity of the claims will be decided in court - if it proves to be unfounded it will still have a big impact on his reputation, if accurate he will be looking at jail time. Now, ask yourself, if it's possible for it to happen at that kind of a level ... and if that challenges your mindset of what a trafficker is.

I haven't even begun to talk about children being trafficked. One motto I heard in the Sex+Money Webisodes was "the younger the better". This means 11-12 years and younger. When I was 11 I still lived in England - I can remember owning a Super Soaker and having a big garden and a bike. I thank God I wasn't ever abused or exploited as a child - others can't.

So, that's how things are and I ask myself what should be done?

Some governments are sympathetic to this and have made legislation around it - well done to them. Sadly this doesn't stop it happening. In countries where prostitution is illegal it's a legal requirement for the police to arrest the prostitute. Not only does this let the pimp carry on as before it means a victim is made into a victim again. I can't imagine what it feels like to be that helpless. Law is certainly one course to addressing this, however the law always lags behind the world - it's always reactive. We don't have the luxury of waiting for the law to catch up.

The next question is "Where is God in all of this?". It's okay, you're allowed to ask that. I know the victims will. Where is God for these people? Is it different to ask 'where are we?'. We are his hands and his feet. The Bible is filled with stories of God commanding mere people like you and I to go and do ridiculous things like lead Israel out of Egypt. I wonder at length why God acts in this way - lightning is so much more impressive. Why us, with all our flaws? My musings aside, what I am sure about is that we are the ones who should be working to combat this. 

If you're reading this, then I include you in "we" - because if you made it this far I believe you care about this. Not everyone is able to just drop their work and take up a cause like this, but if you can afford the computer and internet to read this then can you afford to contribute to the work of the Sex+Money team or can you be better informed about this issue? I'm not trying to get money from you - I haven't posted a link to donate, but I think that if you feel motivated you'll find it yourself.

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This page contains a single entry by crimson published on April 15, 2010 10:27 PM.

Day 4 was the previous entry in this blog.

Book Report 1 - "Is that really you, God?" by Loren Cunningham is the next entry in this blog.

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