• Carolyn Norton

Are you in it to END IT?❌

"Its victims are bound to toil for little or no pay, are forced to engage in exploitative sex work, or are married against their will. Its cost is individual freedom and economic stagnation. Its impact is global, and no country is immune.

Modern slavery is a human rights abuse of our own making. Ending it is a choice the world can make." (Foreword, Andrew Forrest, Global Slavery Index)

Thought slavery was a thing of the past? Think again. Right now, as we sit in the comfort of our homes or places of work, more than 40 million people around the world are being trafficked - forced to work, have sex or marry someone against their will. They are someone else's property. Therefore, they are slaves.

Here are some facts that should make your stomach turn:

  • 71% are women and girls; 29% are men/boys

  • The average age is 12-14.

  • In 1850, the average cost of a slave was $40,000. Today it's $90- for a human being!

  • The slave industry rakes in an estimated $150 billion for traffickers each year. $99 billion of that comes from commercial sex exploitation.

  • Slaves are forced against their will using violence, deception or coercion.

  • The most vulnerable to this are immigrants, those living below the poverty line, foster kids, runaway girls and those who have been sexually abused or neglected.

  • growing trend of traffickers using online social media platforms to recruit and advertise targets of human trafficking.

  • The Superbowl is thought to be the single largest Human Trafficking event in the U.S.

  • No country is immune to human trafficking. The vast majority of slaves are in south Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Estimates suggest that about 55,000 are trafficked in the U.S. each year, many coming from Mexico and Philippines, though other estimates put it closer to 400,000.

  • Atlanta is one of the largest hubs for sex trafficking in the nation- with a range from 200-300 girls that are trafficked each month in our city.

  • Less than 1% of trafficked survivors are identified, meaning the vast majority of cases go undetected.

The good news is that laws are being passed to combat trafficking and there are organizations across the world who are truly in it to END IT. International Justice Mission (IJM), A21 Campaign, Not for Sale, are some of the many who are doing the ground work to free people from slavery. They need our help though!

I am blessed to go to a church that raises our voices for those who can't raise theirs. Passion City Church started the End It Movement in 2013 to raise awareness about the injustice of human trafficking because we all know that we can't act when we aren't aware. So will you join me on February 13th (this Thursday) and draw a red ❌ on your hand or someone on your body, post some facts about human trafficking on your social media accounts with the hashtag #enditmovement, and let's show the world that we are in it to end it! You can also give money, which goes towards our coalition partners. Every dime helps free people from slavery.

But don't just take my word for it. Do your own research and find out more. You may be surprised to know that even some of the food you eat, electronics you own or furniture in your own home may have come from someone being forced to work for little to no money. Click here to find out how many slaves YOU own. I was horrified to learn I own 44 just because of what's in my home. Click here to learn the signs to look for. Hopefully the more you know, the more you will want to do something about it.

Being aware of this has helped me to see the world differently. Prostitutes, strippers, the very people we may look down on, didn't necessarily choose that lifestyle. We are all God's children and deserve love and to live in freedom. I want to be part of a generation that sees an end to slavery.

While we are "waiting well" for whatever that is in our own lives, let's shine light on the dark world of slavery. Be a freedom fighter!

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