Today people across the nation (and the blogosphere) are taking part in National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which encourages participants to get educated and get active in the fight to end the suffering of the estimated 27 million living in slavery today.
In his speech declaring January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, President Obama intimated a serious commitment to the fight to end modern slavery. This year, the President and Congress have the opportunity to make historic, bipartisan progress toward this worthy goal.
And it’s not just government that’s getting involved. Just last week, over 42,000 young Christians banded together at Passion 2012 to raise more than $3.1 million dollars to fund organizations fighting to bring prevention, freedom and restoration to those trapped in slavery.
Sojourners has long been committed to the fight to end this abhorrent evil, and the current issue of Sojourners Magazine seeks to engage the topic head-on.
Scroll down the page to explore our coverage and involvement in the fight against human trafficking over the past year!
Sojourners Takes Action
Jim Wallis Decries DRC Trafficking and Conflict Minerals Trade
by Mikhail Bell
Source: The Institute on Religion and Democracy01-11-2012
(Actual Speech Date: 12-19-2011)
While millions of Americans added smartphones to their Christmas lists, few consumers understood the heavy price others pay to produce our favorite electronics. Sojourners chief Jim Wallis sent this message loud and clear during a December 19 address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Clergy Demand Village Voice Media Help Stop Girls and Boys from Being Sold for Sex
Thirty-six prominent clergy have appealed to Village Voice Media to end the sex trafficking of girls and boys made possible by its Web site, Backpage.com, in a full-page New York Times advertisement today.
The full-page ad: New York Times, October 25, 2011
The Year in Coverage from Sojourners Magazine
- Shutting Down "Satan’s Marketplace"
In ‘Humankind’s Most Savage Cruelty’ (February 2012 Sojourners), I describe how it will take every weapon in the arsenal of nonviolence to end the global slave trade. Here are some resources for getting started on this most vital mission.
Slaves in Our Family
by Rose Marie Berger
When, as is true today, the richest 10 percent own 85 percent of the world’s wealth and the poorest 50 percent live off the crumbs of 1 percent of the total global wealth, you’ve created a market where slavery will thrive.
When People Become a Commodity
by Lynne Hybels
I've sat at my computer for hours trying — unsuccessfully — to squeeze the horrific real-life stories that have gripped me into the 600 words of this column. In the end, I have decided just to pray that God will convince you to take action on your own.
The Year in Coverage from God's Politics
Passion 2012 Calls Us to Rise Up Against Modern-Day Slavery
by Matthew Santoro
A pervasive criticism of modern Christians, both from outsiders as well as concerned Christians, is that people of faith are not taking seriously Jesus’ call for us to serve “the least of these.” Thankfully, we may be turning a corner.
Light in the darkness – an interview with Daniel Walker, author of God in a Brothel
by James Colten
This is really a book about grace and God’s unfailing love. For it’s because of God and because of grace that we must work hard to combat human trafficking.
God in a Brothel: These Children Have Names
by Jennifer Grant
Walker wants to change the way the people of faith approach human trafficking. It is a problem many of us have been unaware of or have found too upsetting or complicated to address. He implores the church to stop such neglect.
Lawyers' Surreal World and the Fight Against Selling Children
by Elizabeth Palmberg 10-26-2011
When three dozen prominent interfaith clergy (including Jim Wallis) signed an ad in the New York Times saying that the best way to stop the sex trafficking of children on Backpage was to shut down that website's "adult" section, the company's response was awfully familiar.
When Kids are Sold for Sex
by Tim King 10-25-2011
When kids are sold for sex - there is no excuse. That is why Jim Wallis signed onto a full page ad in the New York Times calling for Village Voice Media to shut down the "Adult Services" section of their Backpage.com website.
Female Slavery in Our Own Back Yards
by Amy Stetzel
Our leaders can't do it alone. All of us are potential members of an abolition movement that already has the advantage of having anti-slavery laws on the books.
When the Earth Shakes
by Tim King
It's distressing to see politicians today cut funding for grants that fight human trafficking internationally while they put their energy and effort behind protecting corporate subsidies, tax loopholes and breaks for the wealthy.
How Child Sex Trafficking is Being Overcome in the Philippines
by Holly Burkhalter
The sex industry in Cebu has gotten the message that if you sell kids, you go to jail. These are the kinds of programs our government should be helping to replicate in order to protect children around the world.
A Prayer and a Poem
Prayer of the Day: Human Trafficking
Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day …
A Poem in Honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
by Lisa Sharon Harper
Sunday, January 11 was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I wrote this poem, And to the Little Ones, in honor of the day. It was originally performed as a spoken word piece at All Angels Church in New York City.