And, I am willing to bet that after you read the next few lines, it just might become that something in your life too.
- 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation. -U.S. Department of Justice
- 600,000 – 800,000 people are bought and sold across international borders each year; 50% are children, most are female. The majority of these victims are forced into the commercial sex trade. – U.S. Department of State, 2004, Trafficking in Persons Report, Washington, D.C.
- An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year. The number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country is even higher, with an estimated 200,000 American children at risk for trafficking into the sex industry. – U.S Department of Justice Report to Congress from Attorney General John Ashcroft on U.S. Government Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons
- There are open sex slavery cases in all 50 States. An estimated 10,000 sex slaves exist in New York City. – Red Light Children Campaign
- An estimated 2.5 million children, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multibillion dollar commercial sex industry – UNICEF
- Investigators and researchers estimate the average predator in the U.S. can make more than $200,000 a year off one young girl. – NBC Report by Teri Williams
Trafficking has been on my radar, but recently, with the help of SCTNow, I have begun to learn just how real it is… in my own backyard.
Here is a recent report from KOIN 6 in Portland that took trafficking from all of the stereotype places in the city I thought for sure it would occur, and placed it right in the middle of the suburbs. Simply put… it is everywhere.
From my own daughter, who decided at the age of 6 to spend all of her $30 to help girls who had been rescued from the child sex slave trade, to a recent article I read stating that my own hometown of Portland, Oregon is number two in the nation for such atrocities.
As singer, Brooke Fraser once sang in her song Albertine after visiting the orphans in Rwanda, “I have seen, now I am responsible.”
How can I turn a blind eye? How could anyone turn a blind eye?
From people of faith to people out of faith to people never of faith, this is our moment to come together and do something right in faith that we can make a difference.
We can no longer say of this… it doesn’t effect me. This should effect each of us in a place deep within our soul.
Over the past few years, there has been a drumbeat around this issue for me. Recently, it has led me to SCTNow and what they are doing to stop trafficking by targetting the predator.
Here is a recent interview I conducted with Sundy Goodnight, National Campaign Director for SCTNow.
There are 2.5 million reasons why we should all get engaged with this issue. For my friends in the church, this is a moment to rise up and simply be the church… in action, not words. For this is 2.5 million reasons too many.
For that which we have done for the least of these, we have also… done unto Him.
Quite frankly, for all of my friends… this should be a moment to rise up, forget about our differences, come together, and stop something that is a black eye upon this world we call home. In this, I believe that we can indeed… make a difference.
As a father, husband, citizen of the world, and one who claims to follow this Jesus we speak of… my heart is compelled to do something. For when one is effected… we are all effected.
I suppose I could tell you all the things about why I am speaking out against trafficking, but… I have learned over my years that talk is cheap and action counts.
When too much talk happens, it becomes about us. When action happens, it becomes about them and all I know is that there are millions of them… that need our action.
For them are the children. Do you hear their cries?
Now that you too have heard… will you be responsible?