There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that verse. In Christ we are all the same. Equals where race, gender, social status, and wealth fall away. Every victim is our brother and sister. -Religion aside- they’re humans. Our not so distant ancestors fought wars to set men free that we could all be equals. Do we forget their sacrifices so easily? The American civil war, which started out because of the issue of slavery is still the deadliest war in American History. We still talk about heroes of the Underground Railroad who helped to smuggle slaves out of the confederate south. One of the men who escaped slavery in the south, Fredrick Douglas, once said:
“I expose slavery in this country, because to expose it is to kill it. Slavery is one of those monsters of darkness to whom the light of truth is death.”
Just by letting light in on the modern slave trade, we can fight the trade. Awareness can help break the cycle. I was in a class recently, and at the end of the class the teacher gave each student a note with a quote on it. My quote was, “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” -Woody Allen. People getting involved and standing up against the trade will be 80% of the fight. Awareness can reduce victims and recognize victims. If the traffickers feared society’s response to their activities the crime would not be so easily gotten away with. It would certainly not be as easily to forget.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed
Awareness. I’ve mentioned it a lot. Most places do. So what are we supposed to be looking for? The following list is from the Polaris Project:
If you see any of these red flags, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text to BeFree (233733) for specialized victim services referrals or to report the situation. Click here to learn more about reporting potential human trafficking situations. This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. Also, the red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases and are not cumulative.
Common Work and Living Conditions: The Individual(s) in Question
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
- Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
- Avoids eye contact
Poor Physical Health
- Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
- Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Loss of sense of time
- Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
For those of you who are students, workers, or travelers please look into posting fliers at the sites you can. The Polaris Project has numerous Flyers available including ones written in about a dozen languages.
We can do more.