So many of us in the US grew up only reading in our school history books about slavery that happened in our country in the 1700s to 1800s. But, as we grew older, we learned that slavery or its effects didn’t ‘go away’ then and hasn’t gone away now.
The International Labour Organization says that “Almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour – 11.4 million women and girls and 9.5 million men and boys.” That’s in our world now.
This kind of ‘forced labor’ can be forced work with little or no pay or horrid working conditions, human trafficking, sex trafficking, child labor, and more.
In a hurting world where various modes of slavery still exists, how can we help?
3 Ways to Pray about Modern Day Slavery
Pray for the victims. Pray for healing, for comfort, for protection, for security, for help (Psalm 146:6-9). Christ came to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18) and that still stands.
“The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.” – Psalm 103:6 (NIV)
Pray for the predators. Praying for enemies is beyond hard (understatement, anyone?), but we can pray for change in their hearts and justice to be served (Psalm 7:9).
“Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.“ – Isaiah 55:7 (NIV)
Pray for justice. Pray for light to shine in these dark places so we can unite against human trafficking.
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” – Ephesians 5:11-13 (NIV)
Visit this page at the A21 Campaign to find a free printable of many more ways to pray about modern day slavery.
3 Actions to Take Today
1. Your money acts as a vote. Where you spend your money votes for the kind of world you want. Look for fair trade options. Refuse to buy from companies that employ slave labor or terrible working conditions. Support nonprofits that work directly with families to stay out of slavery and grow.
- Tsh at The Art of Simple compiled an Ethical Shopping Guide that I refer to often. (Be sure to check out the articles she’s written about the coffee and chocolate industries linked there, too.)
- Support and learn from reputable nonprofits and organizations battling modern day slavery, like these:
- When selecting gifts, buy what you can straight from organizations that help protect families from human trafficking, like Mercy House Global’s shop or Freeset. You’ll be supporting real families and advocating to gift receivers about these causes.
2. Raise awareness. The first step to helping is become aware that there’s a problem. Then, once we know, we know we can’t ignore it and we have to act.
- Learn more yourself (and as a family) so you can broaden your perspective and increase empathy that expands to action.
- Read books and articles about modern day slavery and share about it them online or in person.
- Run races to raise awareness (like Miles for Mercy or Tread on Trafficking).
- Share with your church community or neighborhood about how we can help in small ways and big ways. Ask your local schools and centers where children regularly attend if they help children be aware of the signs of trafficking so they can get to safety (and even help prevent it). (An example: Love146 created their Not A Number curriculum to raise awareness.)
3. Start NOW and make small changes in your lifestyle to combat modern day slavery.
- See the Ethical Shopping Guide.
- Check out this huge ‘action library’ from End Slavery Now.
- Pick one product a month (ie: coffee, chocolate, clothing) to research and switch to brands that support fair trade and workers’ rights. If we all take small steps, they lead up to big changes.
- DoSomething.org is geared towards teens and young adults, but has a TON of ideas for people of all ages to do to help make a difference against modern day slavery as well as other causes. (Caution for families with young kid: some language in certain parts on the site)
–5 myths about child trafficking via Love146
–4 ways to aid the fight again human trafficking via Relevant
–11 facts about human trafficking via DoSomething.org
–FAQs about modern day slavery via End Slavery Now
–Facts about child labor around the world via Compassion International
-Recognize the signs of human trafficking and report it (via the Polaris Project)
–21 ways to act via the A21 Campaign
Please join us today in praying about modern day slavery and acting for justice for our hurting world.