The United Nations defines human trafficking as “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”
The International Labor Organization estimates that:
* 55% of trafficked humans are women and girls.
* 5.5 million are children
* forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.
human trafficking affects 161 countries worldwide.
* Of the 36 million people who are trafficked in the world, more than 23 million of them are in Asia.
(Numbers vary widely as human trafficking is a difficult crime to track)
Faith communities are invited to make commitments to take action to prevent the crime of human trafficking and its abuse in our local and global communities. Together we must raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking and show the world our compassion for men, women and children who are trafficked and exploited around the world. This heinous crime must not be tolerated. We must prevent the physical, emotional and sexual abuse it causes.
Resources have been prepared for the weekend closest to the 30th July, The United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
Communities can choose any day which works for them. Go to StoptheTraffik website.
While we cannot begin to know the full extent to which human trafficking is hurting the people of this world, we can pray for the ability to see the tragedy that it is. The church can also pray for the victims and their families. And, as we pray prayers of lament and prayers for the healing of our world and its people, we can look forward to the day when everything will be made new. For what God has promised, God will one day do. As Christians, God’s children bear a calling to go into the world, into the hurt and the pain and the torture, and to work towards the redemption, to promote freedom, to bring about justice, and to offer compassion to a hurting world. “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
O God, our words cannot express what our minds can barely comprehend and our hearts feel when we hear of children and adults deceived and transported to unknown places for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor because of human greed.
Our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are being transgressed through threats, deception, and force. We cry out against the degrading practice of trafficking and pray for it to end.
Strengthen the fragile-spirited and broken-hearted. Make real your promises to fill these our sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good, and send the exploiters away empty-handed.
Give us the wisdom and courage to stand in solidarity with them, that together we will find ways to the freedom that is your gift to all of us. Amen.
(Source: S. Genevieve Cassani, SSND, School Sisters of Notre Dame)
Our World Belongs to God
Life is a gift from God’s hand,
who created all things.
Receiving this gift thankfully,
with reverence for the Creator,
we protest and resist
all that harms, abuses,
or diminishes the gift of life,
whether by abortion, pollution, gluttony,
addiction, or foolish risks.
Because it is a sacred trust,
we treat all life with awe and respect,
especially when it is most vulnerable…
Since God made us male and female in his image,
we respect each other as equals,
not flaunting or exploiting our sexuality…
Sexuality is disordered in our fallen world—
brokenness, abuse, pornography,
and loneliness are the result—
but Christ’s renewing work gives hope
for order and healing
and surrounds suffering persons
with compassionate community…
We call on all governments to do public justice
and to protect the rights and freedoms
of individuals, groups, and institutions
so that each may do their tasks.
We urge governments and pledge ourselves
to safeguard children and the elderly
from abuse and exploitation,
to bring justice to the poor and oppressed,
and to promote the freedom
to speak, work, worship, and associate.
(Source: Christian Reformed Church in North America)
Beautiful Slave Lyrics
i dont know where i am
theyve taken all that i had
smuggled in for a lucrative trade
broken in, until i obey
i used to be childlike
innocent and safe
now im someone else’s treasure
a strangers pleasure
smothered in shame
succumbed with drugs
but Im not numb
all I feel is pain
is this all a dream
will i ever be the same?
can anyone hear me?
will anyone break these chains?
who will free me?
from this dark place?
does God see me?
what is His name?
will He help me?
im just a beautiful slave
my worst fear is my fate
im getting older each day
every girl too old in years
mysteriously just disappears
they never mention her name
they take away piece by piece
i dont think i have any left
ive slowly given up all hope
given in to this sleepless bed
inside these bars
i feel so seared
by each new face
how could this ever be
every memory be erased?
He can hear you
Hes seeking you,
He wants to heal you
Jesus knows the real you
Jesus Loves The Little Children
All The Children Of World
Red & Yellow, Black & White
Theyre Precious In His Sight
Jesus Loves The Little Children Of The World
Hes Got The Whole World In His Hands
27 million (see video below)
The refrain is a calling to “open our eyes,” to be the voice and freedom for the 27 million girls who are trafficked in this world’s slavery market. While this song is informative during the stanzas, its refrain can be sung by a congregation as a promise to work toward a redeemed world. The refrain doesn’t just suggest that we should do something. It says that we’ve “got to” and “we need to” rise up on behalf of those whose voices are being silenced.