On Saturday I was able to attend the “Confronting Human Trafficking in Bay Area Houston” that was put on by Project427 and Unbound Houston. Both of these organizations are Christian based. The statistics are staggering, and I must warn you that it’s not a pretty picture.
- There are 10X more slaves in the US today (that we know about) than when slavery was abolished. Slave labor, child soldiers and commercial sexual exploitation are just a few forms of modern-day slavery.
- There are nearly 30 million slaves worldwide, and as many as 300,000 children are at risk of being commercially exploited in sex slavery each year in the US alone.
- The average age brought into slavery are between 11-13 year olds. The average life expectancy is 7 years.
- Human trafficking is slavery, and is the fastest growing criminal industry, second only to drug trafficking
- Houston is the #1 city in the US for human trafficking, with the I-10 corridor the busiest trafficking corridor, because the demand is higher here. On any given day, the demand in the Houston area is equal to what it is in another city on Superbowl Sunday – which is touted as the highest day of demand. So what is feeding the demand in Houston?
- Breakdown of family – 1/3 of Houston homes are fatherless
- Sexual Abuse – 25% of girls and 17% of boys are sexually abused before age 18
- Pornography – this is NOT a victimless crime
- Ordering a sex slave is as easy as ordering a pizza.
- Debt bondage – which can pass from generation to generation
- During last year’s surge across the border, many of these illegals have become slaves: sex slaves and indentured servants (remember if they didn’t have the money to pay the coyotes, they would be sold to recoup their losses).
- In order to prosecute human traffickers, you must be able to prove Force, Fraud, or Coercion – UNLESS the victim is a minor.
Now that you’ve heard some of the bad news what can you do?
- First, share this information – we can’t fight it if we don’t know about it!
- Report any trafficking you become aware of to the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
- Support a local or national group (specifically the Christian groups who will also minister spiritually to these victims). There are some excellent organizations working locally and nationally and I’d like to highlight them here.
- Unbound Houston This group focuses on minor slaves and works to prevent minors from becoming slaves. UnBound advocates for survivors by providing for immediate needs, volunteering legal services, medical care and counseling, and ultimately connecting them to an aftercare home or other service to help each survivor through his or her unique restoration process.
- Redeemed Ministries is a faith-based non-profit, who are an all volunteer organization with people serving from a wide variety of church backgrounds with our unity found in serving Jesus our Lord and Savior. Their set of core competencies include Outreach, Aftercare and Advocacy giving churches and their congregations the opportunity to network and find their place in the fight against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
- Free the Captives Houston is a faith-based anti-human trafficking non-profit that fights the exploitation and trafficking of Houston’s youth. They engage and mobilize the Christian community while partnering with non-profits, law enforcement, and government agencies in the fight against modern day slavery. Their primary human trafficking objectives are Aftercare, Prevention, Deterrence, Research and Awareness. They have done the research and have made it available to the public (click on the picture for the complete report).
- Fight the New Drug They are a group of passionate and innovative problem-solvers who want to make a difference in the world. Their mission is to raise awareness on the harmful effects of pornography through creative mediums. They can be found touring the country, speaking in school assemblies and filming.
From previous research and what I heard on Saturday, I strongly believe the reason for the astronomical increase in SLAVERY is due to what we have “normalized”. As I was watching the first in the series Momentum, this all seemed to come together for me. In order to get “unstuck” in our lives and to free all the forms of enslavement, we must:
- Reject Normal (Genesis 12:1)
- Commit to Obedience (Exodus 1:17)
- Believe God is working behind the scenes (Exodus 2:8-9)
I’ve provided the service below in case you would like to hear the whole message. On to Freedom!