A number of movies have come up on the market lately about the idea of modern day slavery and sex trafficking. One theme of all these movies, however, is the idea of a child or young person being forcibly pulled from a street by their house, from their Paris hotel room, from the home they were raised. Force is always how the action begins.
"We are not finding victims in the United States because we are not looking for them." - The State Department's Adviser on the issue of Trafficking
And yes, this is a very real world situation. Often, women and children are forced into such a position, taken away from their parents and family and unable to find a way out.
However, this is not the only way that such events happen. H'wood would have us believe that the sex trade is one that is operated by sheer force, by the capture of people off the streets. This, however, is not always the case. Often, women enter the trade somewhat accidentally - they are promised a better opportunity, a chance to make money to get their family out of a bad situation, a job to work when they are flown over to America. Once they are separated from their friends and family, in a strange country where they likely do not speak the common language, they are coerced into a trade where they see no way out. It is an entire system based on trickery and deception, rather than force. And it is this type of system that is most common, not the ones where people are forcibly taken.
Earlier this week, I was riding up to Dallas with a friend and we were discussing this trip to India, and the idea of human trafficking. My friend informed me that she knows someone who had been trafficked into the United States. He is from Honduras, and when he first came to the US, he was promised a job with a friend of a friend, so he moved on up. This job, while it did exist, did not exist in the form that he had been told. They were forced to work on (I believe) a farm up in Illinois, with very little accomodation, and very little freedom. I was not told how this friend was able to get out of this situation, but he is now free and living on his own in the States.
Not all these people are so lucky.
Our first step is to be aware of the problem.
Our second is to acknowledge that this problem is widespread.
And our third is to act. Make our governments aware that this problem exists, that they need to do more to crack down on the issue, that they need to make stopping modern day slavery a priority. It is only through a movement of the citizenry, a movement toward the intolerance of such behavior in our fellow human beings, an intolerance of this terrible treatment of our neighbors, that this issue will be solved.
This is our generation's battle.
If you happen to see Taken, or Trade or any one of the number of movies that have come up about sex trafficking and slavery, do not view it merely as entertainment. The problem is real and the problem is here. We must open our eyes and our hearts to the hurting of the world.