Here in Cleveland, three women who have been missing for 10 years and presumed dead have been found alive. A man kidnapped them a decade ago and has held them prisoner for all of these years. Shackled, tortured, raped, impregnated and forced to assist the man to give abortions to the unlucky one who was pregnant. They were all pregnant more than once. One young woman has a daughter that he did not abort and who now six years old. What were that little girl’s first six years of life like? We won’t know, however she will have to live with the nightmares for the rest of her life. The three young women, now in their 20’s, have to restart their lives. iPads, Facebook, MySpace, texting and a million other common place activities which we all use in 2013 must be learned. Relationships with families must be renewed. Trust in the people around them must be attempted. I think this will be a huge issue. This is what has pushed me into studying about trafficking and slavery.
We can’t just look away because it is unpleasant. We have to see it, grasp the meaning of this evil and balance it with beauty so we can face the fact that we might know some who is currently or had once been part of the culture of slavery.
Things that pull people into slavery are varied. Globally women are second class citizens. Many girls and women are not able to receive the education that is needed to obtain a good paying job. We all realize that flipping burgers at McDonald’s is just not a job that will enable people to have a living wage.
Globally, men, boys, girls,and women who exist in slavery are from all socioeconomic backgrounds. They come from every race, country and religion. They are all lost to us and to the world unless we can stop the buying and selling of human beings in this world.
Besides kids being sold as soldiers, they are also sold into the sex trade. The demand makes a huge supply necessary. Sweatshops around the world use women and children to increase the profit margin on the clothes they make. Cheap labor is needed around the world in agricultural regions. The thing about some of these areas is that paying a living wage increases the price people pay in the markets.
Global unrest and abject poverty lead to refugees who have to leave their homes and possessions. They have no roof or food or medication. They do have desperation and hopelessness. People are often deceived about what they will have if they leave and go to another country. They are often offered education and jobs which never happen. You can help. If someone complains about Force, Fraud, or Coersion, call 911. If a person is 18 or younger, they need only ask for assistance under the Trafficking Victims Protection laws because they are completely protected by law. (For more information, visit the Department of State’s website on trafficking laws at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/laws/).