Last week was Freedom Weekend in Lancaster. People poured into the Ware Center in Lancaster to listen to speakers talk on different aspects of the fight against human trafficking. They visited tables for organizations engaged in the fight: Love 146, Imagine Goods, NIMBY, Hope International, Safe Church, Women at Risk, Samaritan Creations, She’s Somebody’s Daughter, and NorthStar Initiative. Hopefully, we all left energized—and ready to do something, to be a piece in the puzzle to bring an end to slavery.
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here are some of the things we learned:
- There are more people enslaved today than during the entire period of the transatlantic slave trade.
- There are two children trafficked every minute.
- Within the first 48 hours of being on the street, 1 in 3 runaways will be lured into commercial sexual exploitation.
- The average age of entry into human trafficking for girls and boys ranges from 11–14 years old.
- In Ghana, child slaves must dive down into Lake Volta to untangle fishing nets caught on submerged trees, because children are cheaper than new nets.
- Every reduction of $1000 in a country’s GDP makes the country 12 percent more likely to be a source for international human trafficking victims.
So what’s next?
I don’t want to passively accept this evil, as Martin Luther King, Jr., said, and so help perpetrate it.
I am going to help organizations that I know are making a difference. Les and I are planning to attend the Love 146 Sweet Relief Bake-Off benefit on Valentine’s Day. Eating dessert and supporting a worthy organization—sounds perfect to me! If you’re local to Lancaster, this is a great way to celebrate your love, by giving it to others.
How are you bringing freedom to the captives?