Saturday, May 16, 2009

Freedom Summit

This weekend I attended a conference on human trafficking (i.e. modern day slavery) called the Freedom Summit. It's hard to wrap it all up in a concise review, but I want to at least share some astounding statistics, each documented by reliable sources such as the US State Department and various anti-trafficking groups.

  • There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today...more than at any other time in history.
  • Slaves generate approximately 13.6 billion dollars for slave holders per year.
  • Child soldiers are being used in more than 30 countries around the world.
  • In India 60-75% of all prisoners are still awaiting trial.
  • In North Korea, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people are believed to be held in remote detention camps. Their government continues to deny the existence of such camps.
  • Approximately 80% of the people trafficked across international borders each year are women and girls, up to 50% are minors.
  • One million new children become victims of trafficking each year.
  • In South Africa 40% of women would characterize their first experience of intercourse as "forced".

One thing that was shocking to me is how rampant human trafficking is in the United States.

I honestly have no idea what this journey will look like for me, but I know that I can no longer sit back and do nothing. These statistics are so overwhelming, but as one lady said, "Despair is not an option these victims can afford for us to choose. We have to live with the faith that God can do what we say we believe he can do."

Freedom is not free; it comes at a great cost. Just because this is not MY reality, just because it's not happening right in front of my eyes, doesn't mean that it is not reality and that it isn't actually happening.

I will keep you posted on this journey of justice. Perhaps next week I'll write a post explaining how I first became burdened for this topic.

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