It's Human Trafficking Awareness Day -- Friday, January 11.
150 years after the official end of slavery, it's still alive and well. In your backyard and mine. Look at these sad statistics:
Number of children trafficked each year for sex around the world. (UNICEF)
11 years old
Average age of sex workers around the world. Some are as young as 5 years old. (CIA)
Number of children and young women who are trafficked in the U.S. today. The average age is 11. (FBI/ABC News)
Number of U.S. children at risk for commercial sexual exploitation. (US Department of Justice)
Amount of money generated annually by human trafficking. (FBI)
Ranking of human trafficking among all income-generating syndicates (illegal drugs are #1; illegal arms are #3) (Stop the Traffic)
We can change these statistics.
“Given all the power and resources that God has placed in the hands of humankind," writes Gary Haughen, president of International Justice Mission, in his book Terrify No More, "I have yet to see any injustice of humankind that could not also be stopped by humankind."
My goal is to work myself out of a job.
I really don't want to be fighting child trafficking the rest of my life. The only way that will happen is for all of us to work togther to end it now.
Audacious, you say? Yes, it is.
In the words of my fellow abolitionist Rob Morris, director of Love 146, "Ending human trafficking is not idealistic or naive. It is audacious. And it is people of audacity who change the world."
So on this day, 1/11/13, I ask you to be audacious.
Be a world-changer.
Dream big dreams that are so beyond you that only God can help you accomplish them.
Work to stop human trafficking in your city.
If we all do that, we won't have to have a Human Trafficking Awareness Day ever again.
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To learn what The Born2Fly Project is doing to stop child trafficking, visit www.born2fly.org.