Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The International Horror of Human Trafficking
My next book, Deliver Me From Evil, releases in a matter of weeks. Its international scope is heartbreaking.
Much of the time, when I mention the topic of this new book/series, people say something like, "Oh, yeah. I've heard of that happening in Thailand." And yes, it does happen there. In fact, the subplot of my book unravels in the Golden Triangle of that very country.
But the main story? Right here where I live--Southern California. San Diego, to be exact. One of the primary locations for such an atrocious crime, as so many of these victims are brought in across the Mexico/US border.
Before starting this series, I spoke with an investigative reporter for the largest newspaper in the San Diego area, and he told me that even after year of digging into some of the most sordid happenings imaginable, he has seldom been as horrified as he was by investigating the human side of modern-day slavery.
And that's the point. This isn't simply a tragedy involving staggering statistics (27 million people estimated to be held in captivity around the world, for various reasons including sexual exploitation, cheap or free labor, and harvesting of body parts/organs); it is a tragedy with names and faces. Children, much like yours and mine, are kidnapped or even sold by family members into a life that is so violent and degrading that few ever make it out alive. If they do, they are often so scarred that they can never lead a normal life.
Are we our "brother's keeper"? Yes, we are. God has called as to BE the Church! We are to pray for the deliverance and healing of these precious people, but also to speak out for the absolute abolition of modern-day slavery. We cannot sit idly by while people created in the image of God are used as chattel and thrown away like refuse.
It is a worldwide problem, but the Church spans the globe and crosses the borders of time. May we rise up together and say "No more!" May our battle cry be "Abolition!"