Prosecution and Prevention
The second P is for prosecution, which involves arresting traffickers and putting them behind bars. Organizations such as IJM and Abolish Slavery (abolishslavery.org) spend months putting together cases against traffickers, who know the laws and how to get around them. Project Liberty (4projectliberty.webs.com) helps families whose children have been trafficked. If you are an attorney or work in law enforcement, you can volunteer your time to help these organizations.
The third P is for prevention—cutting off the pipeline and making sure kids don’t get trafficked in the first place. Most kids get lured into sex slavery because they don’t know any better. Organizations such as the Born to Fly Project (born2fly.org) work to make kids, parents and teachers aware. Not For Sale has numerous awareness outreaches, including mobilizing young abolitionists on college campuses. This group also has curriculum and other resources (notforsalecampaign.org), hosts Abolitionist Investigation Academy, and publishes the world Slavery Map, found at slaverymap.org.
Love146 organizes local task forces around the country, making it possible for interested people to meet together to learn what they can do to stop the traffic in their own cities as well as overseas. IJM has groups for students, youth, churches and artists. Oasis USA (oasisusa.org) and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (thefellowship.info) recently partnered to produce a webinar that linked hundreds of abolitionists around the U.S.
Other excellent organizations that are not necessarily faith based, such as Polaris Project (polarisproject.org), ECPAT International (ecpat.net), Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (catwinternational.org), and many more, work in all three of these areas.
The fourth P is for partnership. “Folks in the nongovernment sector are just as important to the fight as any dedicated cop or prosecutor,” according to Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the U.S. State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. “One of the main things we’re trying to do is have a sustained anti-trafficking movement that harnesses all the voices of folks moved to do something about modern-day slavery—and then take that to the next level.
“A lot of people sell themselves short,” CdeBaca continued. “They say, ‘I’m not the attorney general, so I can’t put together a task force in my state.’ You can do a lot more than you think.”
Passion and Prayer
We could add two more P’s to the fight. It takes passion—even anger—to stop child trafficking. This article is not just about what others are doing to stop the traffic, but also about what you can do. You don’t have to have a degree in social work or law enforcement—only a heart to make a difference. Ask God for creative ideas of what you can do.
The final P is for prayer. As in any area where the devil has a stronghold, it will take passionate and persistent prayer to see breakthroughs. Exodus Cry, a ministry of International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, has a comprehensive Web site devoted to prayer to end human trafficking, with chapters all over the world (exoduscry.com).
Someday we hope we won’t have to publish articles like this. In the meantime, you can hasten that day by getting involved in the fight to abolish modern-day slavery once and for all. Contact any of the organizations in this article, or Google “child trafficking” or “human trafficking” and the name of your city to find out what’s happening in your neighborhood.
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?” (Prov. 24:11-12, NIV).
Diana Scimone is director of the Born to Fly Project to stop child trafficking (born2fly.org). She sincerely hopes she’ll be out of a job very soon. Meanwhile you can follow her on Twitter @DianaScimone and on her blog at dianascimone.com, where she writes about the effort to stop child trafficking.
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