BeCAUSE...together, we can rescue her...
Told you I'd have lots of blog fodder from the weekend - this is more. Although I don't want to belittle this issue in just using it as blog-fodder. It really is awful and I feel compelled to do something about it. Not sure what yet, but at least I can spread it via my blog as a start.
Human Trafficking is one of the worlds biggest issues right now. Over the last 20-30 years the 'trade' for human beings taken to work in the sex trade has escalated massively. A21 is an organisation that is working to combat human trafficking and Christine Caine, founder of the campaign, spoke at the conference I went to last weekend. She was absolutely inspiring. Whilst telling us the awful truths about trafficking, she also gave hope - in that there have now been 2 convictions for traffickers, in Greece. The significance of this should not be underestimated. Christine herself and others involved in the campaign have been threatened by Mafia from all over Easten Europe. Her reponse: I know a bigger Mafia...;)
The horror of it all is truly awful. They showed a video of conditions in which trafficked women were kept whilst they were beaten, systematically raped, and starved into submission. Until they were so weak they would do anything. I should say, it is easy to think that these women were somehow naive or stupid or even doing it for the money. This is so far from the truth. The testimony of some of the women who have been rescued shows that they are just ordinary women, just from deprived areas. They are cleverly conned into going with captors on the premise of being offered work in another country, often they just want to earn, to help support their families. One woman was even trafficked by her own cousin, a trusted friend. Isn't this what we all want - we want the best for ourselves and our families.
From the A21 site:
After a trafficking journey that typically involves deception, rape, beatings, and constant threats, victims are often forced to live in confining and unsanitary conditions. Once formally put to work, human trafficking victims can be forced to service from 40 to 110 customers in one day1. Malnutrition, sleep deprivation, as well as emotional and physical abuse become day-to-day normalities. In addition, forced abortions and the contraction of STI's, Hepatitis B & C, and AIDS are ever looming probabilities. Life for a victim of sex trafficking is hell on earth. This injustice is the reason The A21 Campaign exists.
I cannot begin to imagine the true horror of what it would be like for a victim of trafficking. The loneliness, isolation, the pain - both physical and mental, the complete loss of dignity and self worth, these women are slaves in every sense of the word. They have no rights, they are held captive, and forced to do the most awful things. How can one recover from that? A21 is an amazing organisation that helps women to escape from trafficking, helps them to become rehabilitated, it aims to catch the traffickers and prosecute them.
And the statistics are horrendous, it is estimated that 27million women have been trafficked across the world. In Moldova alone 450,00 women are missing, presumed trafficked. That is about 1/4 of the population. Stats can seem overwelming, but as Christine said: It sounds big until you meet the 1. So what can we do? We cannot stay silent. We live in a resourced world, an empowered world where we can do something. Are we our sisters keeper? Yes we are. Our sisters blood is crying out to us - we need to act.
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground... Genesis 4: 9-12
The A21 website has loads of ways in which you can help out, even it is just spreading the word or making a donation. Please do something....