The World’s Third Biggest Business: Selling Human Beings

A BBC article caught my eye last night. Several Albanian men were arrested and have plead guilty to essentially kidnapping Lithuanian women and then forcing them to work as prostitutes (link). Promising free travel opportunities or employment, they were able to lure young women, sometimes high school age even, away from home. The rest is simple enough to figure out. This case has prompted the UK to consider signing on to a European trafficking treaty (link).

Justice For Children International reports, “Prostitution and trafficking of women and children is thought to be the third largest income-generating syndicate, after guns and drugs, in the world.” In addition to JFCI, Rainbows of Hope is also addressing some of the needs of children worldwide. The stories are absolutely heart-breaking and I am at least comforted that this horrible practice is gaining more attention and action is being taken.

Here are some links regarding human trafficking in the US:

State Department Report’s list of links

Administration For Children and Families

A few more thoughts

What can we do?
Besides teaming up with an organization such as those listed on the side of this blog or above, I think that this issue is well worth a letter to a Senator or other representative. Senate contact info.

I also think that we need to examine the complexity of the problem. More than anything we are dealing with the male appetite for sex. There are women who may be involved in some ways, but for the most part the horrible vice of lust is driving this industry. It’s not just a supply and demand issue, but let’s face it: men go to the brothels, the demand is high enough to keep prices high, pimps can make a profit, and so the slave trade goes on.

Not to take our focus away from the systemic problems, but there is a spiritual issue here. This is as much a call for political and economic reform as that of the heart. While God’s people must take action to bring healing and relief to the women and children who are suffering so incredibly, there is a call to pray earnestly for an outpouring on God’s Spirit into these dark places. In addition, since the suffering is greatest in these dark places, it is only sensible to pray for more harvest workers to be sent out right into the middle of them. As essential as police work is, I truly believe that God can topple these slavery rings by bringing in his agents who bear the Gospel.

Idealistic? Maybe. But is human trafficking is so enormous and profitable, I do not see any other way to go. The question that strikes me is, “Am I, we, they, willing to go into the dark places that God sends me to?” Am I listening to God so that I hear him when he calls me to go where I do not want to go? Will I obey?