January- National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month

I have been struggling this week with being sick with a bad case (is there a good case?) of strep throat.  I've had no voice, no way to eat, no way to walk because of not eating.  I've been complaining to my husband and to others; complaining, complaining, complaining. My mind has been consumed on ME.  

I had a plan for how I wanted to write today's post.  January is National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month. I had the resources and the infographics ready.  But, maybe because I've been sick and focused on myself, my heart has not been in it.  And, I can't write when my heart isn't in it. I have a difficult time explaining what I believe, expressing what I desire, and showing my passion for Whom I serve when my heart is focused on me.  

But, this morning as I sat to write this, I was reminded that even though I couldn't eat, drink, talk, or stand, I would eventually get over the illness and gain all those physical aspects back.  In a few more days I will be able to do what I love.  I will be able to take care of my family, my home, and sew (of course!).  BUT, there are many men, women, and children who may never have the chance to eat enough where they can stand properly, use their voice to defend themselves, or stand long enough to feel proud of the work they have accomplished.  These are the people that God teaches us to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves".  These are the people that need to know that they are HEARD, they are STRONG, they are LOVED, and that they are ENOUGH.  These are the people I'm passionate about.  I want to be their voice.  I lost sight of that this week as I focused on myself.  And I'm sorry for that.  

As humans, it is our duty to invest in each other.  To give of ourselves to ensure that others have their humanity restored.  Human Trafficking takes away that sense of humanity.  Human Trafficking breathes darkness and hopelessness into each human being it snares.  So, what is Human Trafficking?  And, what can we do about it?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Human Trafficking is

Modern day slavery

Exploiting a person through force, fraud, or coercion

Sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude

Happening everywhere,even in the United States, and victims can be U.S. Citizens or of any nationality, age, socioeconomic status, or gender

Any person under the age of 18 involved in a commercial sex act

 

  • At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labor and 15.4 million in forced marriage.
  • 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
  • Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million persons in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million persons in forced labor imposed by state authorities.
  • Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labor, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors
Source: Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage , Geneva, September 2017.

 

I know those numbers are intimidating and they paint a bleak picture, but there is still so much you and I can do to help give these people a voice.  Here are a few ideas of what you can do to raise awareness and contribute:

  • Spread awareness by sharing on social media- #humantraffickingawarenessmonth
  • #humantraffickingawarenessday
  • Knowledge – Learn how human trafficking is happening. Visit www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign to inform yourself about what human trafficking looks like.
  • Get involved – If you suspect human trafficking report it. In the U.S. call 1-866-347-2423. For more information visit www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign. You can also volunteer through organizations committed to eliminating human trafficking. Contact local, state and regional service organizations to volunteer time, services or a donation.
  • Get help – If you need help, call 1-888-373-7888. Visit www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign

Recognize and report suspected human trafficking.  To contact federal law enforcement, call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.  Or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips.  For victim support from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to Befree(233733). Help us bring this crime out of the shadows and into the light. Join the Blue Campaign.

 

My Dear One,

Again, thank you for taking the time to read this. Please take a moment to raise awareness and support non-profit organizations that give all their time to give human trafficking victims the voice they deserve to have.  

 xoxo

elana 


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