Human trafficking is the one issue of our day that all of us contribute to in some form or fashion.  Yes, I said all of us.  Anyone who has access to read this blog, who lives and functions in this modern world participates by commission or omission in what is happening around the world.

Perhaps you do not believe that you contribute to the problem.  Quick test: without looking, where was your shirt made?  Would it bother you to know that a worker was exploited to make the price point demanded for that garment?  Do you know where the coffee you drank with breakfast was harvested and if the folks that touched the beans were paid a livable wage or not exploited? Have you eaten chocolate this week?  Would it bother you to know that most of the chocolate produced in the world comes from exploited children forced to harvest the cocoa pods.  It is very likely these children will never taste chocolate in their lifetime.  Our foods, our tangible products, our demand for goods and services – at the lowest possible price – all are a part of the complicated equation called labor trafficking.

It is estimated that there are 27 million slaves in the world today.  About half of them are exploited in labor industries.  The likelihood is very great that you have something you have purchased that has included the fingerprints of someone who has been enslaved in the process of production.  If you would like to investigate your contributions’ footprints – go to www.slaveryfootprint.org.

What about the other half of the victims?  These are predominantly women and children who are enslaved in the sex industry.  Yes – millions of women, boys, and girls!  They are forced to provide sex for sale by methods of force, fraud, or coercion in global sex tourism.  The demand for sexual services in the world is a part of a phenomenon of sexual perversity, pederasty, pedophilia, pornography, and prostitution.  The proliferation of this demand is fueled by silence about sexual abuse and cultural normalization of engagement of children in sexual behaviors.  Children are hyper-sexualized media, music, clothing, and pornography. The greatest demand in the porn industry is for children in pornography.

At this point, you may be convinced you do not contribute to sex trafficking.  Perhaps you have checked of in your mind how you do not contribute:

–       I don’t buy sex abroad

–       I don’t abuse or buy children

–       I don’t buy porn

Well that may all be true about the overt commission of sex trafficking consumption but what about what you consume through the music, movies, clothing choices/sexualized fashion, tolerance of pornography on the web or in other venues where commodification of sex for “sale” is tolerated or you are complicit.

It is not just enough to say I do not buy but that I speak up against that as a steady diet in our culture.  If you think it is not affecting you, I dare you to consider how many sexualized images are bombarding you everyday from the news to the television you watch.

Consider your personal contribution and next we will consider your responsibility to address human trafficking.