International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2nd December.
“Wihini, aged nine and her brother Sunni, a boy aged seven, lived on Thane train station in Mumbai, India with their parents who were both alcoholics. Wihini and Sunni were regular attendees of the Asha Deep Day Centre, run by Oasis India, where they learnt to read and write and were given the opportunity to play. After attending daily for three months they disappeared. The project staff went to look for them. Wihini and Sunni's father told them how a man had come and offered money for them and that he had sold them for the equivalent of $30. That was the last the father and the staff of Asha Deep Day Centre heard of them. In that area of Mumbai every two to three months children disappeared or were kidnapped and sold into prostitution, forced labour, adoption or child sacrifice”. (Direct quote from www.stopthetraffik.org)
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story. Human trafficking is an atrocious crime against humanity affecting up to 4 million men, women and children internationally. Victims of human trafficking experience severe violent and emotional abuse; are denied education and basic healthcare.
According to Stop The Traffik (www.stopthetraffick.org), human trafficking occurs when an individual is bought or sold against their will; human trafficking involves deception and manipulation into slavery for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced begging, sacrificial worship or removal of human organs, as child brides or into sweat shops, circuses, farm labour and domestic servitude.
The UNODC (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html) states that all countries are affected by human trafficking, whether as a destination for victims, transit, or country of origin.
What is our response to this injustice?
Our response to human trafficking, and indeed the mistreatment of the vulnerable, needs to be more than an emotional response, a re-tweet or a ‘like’ on Facebook. Our response to human trafficking should be an explicit Christian reaction to the abuse of the marginalised in our world. The Salvation Army acknowledges the worth and value of every human being as being created in the image of God. When people are trafficked, they are not treated with equality, nor is the glory of God within them acknowledged. It is part of our mission as The Salvation Army to rectify this.
On the 17th of February, Salvationists around Australia are uniting to combat human trafficking.
This is a day set apart to acknowledge victims of human trafficking, pray for their freedom and participate in actions that work towards their freedom.
Freedom Sunday is an initiative of Stop the Traffik and their website had has many resources available for this day – Prayer stations, creative responses, worship suggestions, liturgy and more.
Will you join Just Salvos and advocate for victims of human trafficking?