I want to begin with a warning. The content of this blog post is difficult to read, even harder to really process and because of those two elements, it can be tempting to ignore. Not because we don't care, but because it seems so overwhelming. My hope for this month is that every reader will see that we can not allow ourselves the luxury of looking away. We can do something. We have to.
Here are some of the astounding facts about Human trafficking:
"There are more slaves today than at any time in human history. An estimated 27 million men, women, and children are living in bondage.
In 2007, slave traders made more profit than Google, Nike, and Starbucks combined.
- There are over one million new people trafficked annually.
- 80% are women and 60% are children.
- Every minute two children become victims of human trafficking. (In the time it takes you to read this post, approximately 14 children will become victims.)
- The average life span of a child caught in the sex slave trade is two years. They are either beaten to death, contract HIV/AIDS, contract bacterial meningitis, or overdose on drugs forced on them."
- 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking by being a source, transit or destination country.
- People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries, affecting every continent and every type of economy.
- The majority of trafficking victims are between 12 and 24 years of age.
- An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.
- 95% of victims experienced physical or sexual violence during trafficking.
- Many trafficking victims have at least middle-level education.
In my opinion, statistics are a blessing and a curse. They are important to know so we can have an understanding of how all encompassing the problem of trafficking is in the world. Unfortunately, the real people being lost in this injustice often get missed in the overwhelming numbers. To fight against that, it has helped me to think about the people I know in the age range most affected by trafficking. To think about what I would do if it were my nieces and nephews, my youth group kids, our college group kids, my friends' children and (I can hardly even type it) my boys.
Wouldn't I do everything in my power to save them? Wouldn't you?
The information gathered in this post was pulled from the following sources:
UNODC- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
US Department of Health and Human Services
UN.gift- Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
The Polaris Project