Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! I’m sure you’ve got 20/20 vision and have set some awesome goals. Follow your heart, my friend. Follow your dreams and win.
January is not only an opportunity for dreaming and goal setting, January 11th is the day set aside for Human Trafficking Awareness. So, please indulge me as I honor that day and the millions of victims of this human horror in this space.
Almost everyday on my social media timeline, I see the face of a missing woman or child. I’ve gone from horrified to outraged. Horrified by the sheer numbers. Outraged by the indignity.
Two years ago, I spotted a young lady with an older man as I was exiting a local convenience store. She was quite young and dressed a bit provocatively. Everything about the two of them raise my internal antenna. As they ordered sandwiches, I decided to turn around and stand in line behind them to assess the situation. I listened to the conversation. I watched her body language and determined that she was quite comfortable and probably not in any danger.
I arrived home, perused my FB timeline and panicked when I saw her face. She was missing from her home in North Jersey. I reached out to her parents only to discover that she was a high functioning autistic child and would not have realized if she was in danger. My heart sank! I kicked myself for days for making the wrong assessment. People should not be for sale. I will trust my gut in the future.
This human trafficking phenomenon is no joke! It’s a crime affecting every country across the globe. Nowhere is safe. We most often think of trafficking for the purposes of the sex trade, but it’s also forced labor, marriage and organ removal. Yes, organ removal or organ harvesting! Whatever you might call it, it’s barbaric and brutal. All of it.
Can you believe that internationally there are between 20 to 40 million people held against their will? The United Nations doesn’t believe the full scope of this has even been assessed! Most cases go undetected. Right now, they believe about 71% of those trafficked are women and girls, while men and boys account for 29 per cent. Sadly in 2018 almost 52% of the trafficking cases involved children. Many were in the foster care system and were forced into the sex trade between ages 12-14 years old.
Listen, I’m not trying to start your year on a biting or unpleasant note. But, while we’re posing for selfies, deleting toxic friends, vision boarding and walking in favor, let’s remember that somewhere there’s a kid who didn’t come home, a parent whose little boy or girl is missing, a woman or a man who has vanished without a trace.
Let’s remember that the world is bigger than we are. We all have our challenges and we are all striving for success, but the Word of God reminds us to look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4) For all our getting, let’s not grow tired of doing good. If you can’t do the work, support an organization doing the work and with all the chaos in the world, remember to be kind to one another.
“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” – Unknown