Hidden In Plain Sight
Today’s modern-day crisis of slavery is an injustice that effects every community on the earth today. Hidden in the shadows, a thriving slave trade is emerging that rivals anything we have seen to date. There are more slaves today than at any point in human history! This burgeoning trade of humans boasts 20.5 million victims worldwide according to the International Labor Organization; 4.5 million of those victims are trafficked for sex. Staggeringly, 98% of sex trafficking victims worldwide are women and children! Although Hollywood’s portrayal shows young girls being kidnapped off the streets never to be seen again, this tactic is much less common than the more subtle coercive recruitment into the sex trade that many vulnerable young people fall prey to.
Why the sex trade?
Unfortunately, in our world today, female bodies are sexually commodified in everything from a Doritos commercial to the covers of Cosmopolitan magazine. Young boys have been taught that girls and sex are for consumption and the reverse message is being fed to our daughters– find your identity and value in being sexy, being consumed. The sexualization of our culture has aptly set the stage for a thriving international sex trade. Simply put, sex trafficking is about supply and demand. This exploitative system wouldn’t exist without a demand for sex from the men who purchase it. Because there are few individuals voluntarily signing up for a “career” in prostitution, traffickers step in to meet the demand and financially profit off the world’s most vulnerable. Luring these women and children into a life of degradation has become all too common, especially where vulnerabilities like childhood sexual abuse, foster care, and poverty already exist. This modern day sex trade is well-networked, well-funded, and operating with little hindrance in communities worldwide.
The church cannot afford to be silent about this global injustice. God is shedding light on trafficking across the earth because He has heard the groan of oppression (Exodus 2:23-3:12) and His response and desire is to raise up Deliverers– full of His compassionate love, zeal for justice, and unwavering commitment to bringing His light and Kingdom to the darkest places on the earth. Slavery is as much a spiritual reality as it is a physical one, if we are going to see this injustice exposed and captives set free in body, soul, and spirit we must continually be fighting first from the place of prayer, on our knees, and then taking action in our spheres of influence to effect a change these women and children so desperately need.
“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise”, says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.” (Psalm 12:5 nkjv)
Tim & Blaire Fraim