I have this poster in my room at school because most of my students believe that slavery no longer exists; slavery as they know it is a chapter in the history books. When we study Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Phillis Wheatley in American literature, I reference this normally unnoticed poster (I have a lot of posters and pennants in my room) and tell students that there are more slaves in today’s world than any other time in history. Students are usually in disbelief as I go on to explain that children in other countries are often sold into slavery or human trafficking is a huge problem especially in Atlanta.
The reality for those of us living in suburban America is that modern day slavery can be easy to miss, but this does not excuse us from making ourselves aware. The responsibility falls on us to act on behalf of those who cannot act or advocate for themselves. Here are some ways to raise personal awareness or help stop modern day slavery:
Watch Ashton Kutcher’s testimony before the Senate committee last week on the subject of human trafficking. I’ve always like Punk’d and sometimes even felt like I was on it (shout out to 4th block), but my respect level for Ashton Kutcher has gone through the roof. He is using his time, money, and influence to make a difference.
Read a book to raise your awareness on the subject. I read Terrify No More by Gary Haugen from the International Justice Mission a few years ago and was saddened and shocked by the things I learned. This was a necessary read for me to expand my knowledge of global issues.
Sponsor a child which will put him or her in school and off the streets. We have sponsored children from Compassion International pretty much our entire married life. Emma, our current child from Togo, will age out in just a few years, and we will start with another one or two. We have had the opportunity to visit a Compassion school and can personally attest to the good work they are doing. (Here’s Emma’s latest picture; he’s getting so big)
Be alert. I love this story of this flight attendant who noticed something not quite right about a teenage girl on a flight. The girl was in trouble and thanks to the quick-thinking flight attendant, police were at the gate to arrest her oppressor when they landed. My husband once had a call from a church member who knew of a teenage girl who had been invited to do some modeling in another state, and the story didn’t add up. This is his story to tell but again thanks to alert and discerning individuals, the girl was rescued.
Support the International Justice Mission. This organization has the brightest and boldest attorneys, detectives, and professionals working in all parts of the world to stop injustice. Funding their work is an easy way to be involved in this global issue.
Visit the End It website to learn more about modern day slavery and how you can get involved. The End It Movement born out of Passion Church and Conference in 2013 has brought people, organizations, and legislators together to end slavery in the world today. I love that Christians are doing what Jesus would do; the world needs more believers like this.