Trafficking: The Invisible Problem
Each year, during the month of February, the issue of human trafficking – especially sex trafficking – becomes very visible, thanks to the Super Bowl and “Shine a Light on Slavery” Day (February 7). Both draw a significant amount of local and national media attention.
While I’m glad such events shine a light on the critical issue of sex trafficking and exploitation, I fear once they’re over, the issue becomes invisible again. Many folks incorrectly believe sex trafficking and exploitation only occur around these highly-attended events, and don’t realize the issue goes on 365-days–a-year.
One Atlanta station recently reported, “Now that it’s over, they (the FBI) want to remind people that sex- and human-trafficking simply doesn’t go away. ‘This is a problem that is prevalent throughout Atlanta and throughout the country, 365 days of the year,’ they warned." (Hope Ford, 11 Alive.com -Atlanta, GA).
Anti-slavery group Polaris’ CEO, Bradley Myles, agrees, having recently said,
“All this is a one-day snapshot into what otherwise is a 365-day problem. The same traffickers that are committing trafficking ... during the Super Bowl, they’re going to wake up in the morning on Monday and do the same thing.” (Sebastian Milo, Reuters News Agency)
The below statistics from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation provide a brief glimpse into the overall numbers and the financial impact of sex trafficking and exploitation.
We hope you’ll take time to review these facts and decide how God would have you respond to this critical situation engulfing women – not only worldwide, but right here in Kentucky, in your own backyard. We urge you to support organizations that are meeting the needs of women who are being exploited for financial gain. These women are everywhere – all around you – and those of us who are serving them need your help.