The Problem of Slavery

Monday, October 20, 2014

This is Day 20 of a 31 Day writing challenge. To read more about my 31 Days series and to catch up on any posts you've missed, be sure to check out my post 31 Days of INSPIRE!

 Yesterday, I wrote about the fact that we all have the ability to bring about change. We can be the ones to make a difference in the world.

But how? And where?

That's why I'm writing this post. So I can show you how and where you can make a difference. To let you know what you can do.

To spread the need for change.

We are living in a broken world, and all around us there are problems. And because there are problems, there are causes. Causes like "Stop Global Warming" and "Save the Bangladesh Tiger" and "End World Hunger" and so on.
And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with saving the Bangladesh Tiger. In fact, I think it's a valiant thing to do. I love tigers!

But today I want to share a problem that has always been very close to my heart, and a few organizations that are looking for solutions to that problem.

 "What is the problem," you ask? 


When we think of slavery, we tend to think of something that happened a long time ago. We think about the Civil War, and about the fight to make slavery illegal. We think about sugar plantations and cotton mills.

And we probably also assume that slavery is dead, or something that only happens in developing countries. After all, according to the 13th Amendment, slavery should be no more. Not here.

But slavery is very much alive. In fact, there are approximately 60,000 victims today enslaved in the US alone, and 20-30 million worldwide.

This illegal ownership of the human life generates traffickers over $100 billion a year, making it one of the largest illegal industries in the world, second only to drug-dealing. 

But what is slavery exactly? 

According to Wikipedia, "slavery is a system under which people are treated as property." It means working without compensation, under inhumane conditions. And it means you don't have the freedom to walk away.
Because you are not your own anymore. You belong to someone.

And this is definitely a problem.

But what is being done about it? What can I do to help? How can I get involved?

Today I'd like to highlight three organizations who are working to end slavery, and show you a few ways you can get involved with each.

1. Not for Sale

 Not for Sale was the very first anti-trafficking organization I ever heard about, and it was really what opened my eyes to the fact that slavery still exists.

Who They Are: Based out of San Francisco, their mission is to "build a world where no one is for sale," and they are doing this all around the world.

What They're Doing: Not for Sale has projects in San Francisco, The Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, and Peru. Their programs provide victims temporary housing or financial aid, and help make connections to much-needed jobs.

How You Can Help: Donating to Not for Sale enables them to continue their work to free slaves, and you can do that over here.

2. The A21 Campaign

I honestly don't remember how I found out about A21, but it has since become one of my favorite anti-slavery organizations, and the one I am trying to become most involved in.

Who They Are: A21's mission is to "abolish injustice in the 21st century." They are working to free women and girls from the horror of forced prostitution and other forms of slavery.

What They're Doing: A21 has many different programs going to stop slavery- each one playing a vital role. They work alongside the FBI to identify and free women caught in human-trafficking. They provide housing, education, and training to survivors through their "restoration programs." They work with lawyers to help prosecute traffickers and provide legal council to the victims, and they offer various resources to educate the public on what needs to be done.

How You Can Help: A21 provides several different ways you can get involved. You can donate or host a fundraiser to support The A21 Campaign. If you want to make a more personal impact, write a letter to one of the girls who has been rescued. Shop for A21 merchandise to spread awareness. And for more information on how you can help free slaves, check out this list of 21 Ways to Help.

3. Made In a Free World

After I first realized slavery was an issue that still existed, I knew I needed to do something about it. In researching modern-day slavery and how I could help, I came across an organization called Made In a Free World.

Who They Are: Made In a Free World is "a network of individuals, groups, and businesses working together to disrupt slavery and make freedom go viral." Their focus is on freeing children in the forced labor industry, and calling out the companies who use products made by slaves.

What They're Doing: Made In a Free World has "field projects" in both India and Ghana. Their Ghana project focuses on freeing the children who are being forced to work as fishers on Lake Volta. The children are identified, rescued, and brought to the shelter for medical attention and education. Their India project is planting Safe Villages where children are educated instead of working in dangerous and illegal mines.

How You Can Help: By donating to one of the Made In a Free World projects, you are helping put a stop to slavery. You can also visit their store to buy MIAFW merchandise. Their partner website allows you to calculate the number of slaves who worked for you, and gives you the opportunity to speak out about this injustice by sending notes to companies asking them to commit to ending slavery.

Now you know.  The question now is...

What are you going to do about it?


My question today is what would you want to say to someone trapped in slavery? What would you say to someone who did know slavery still exists? Leave a comment below or over on my Facebook page! Please share this so everyone can know about modern-day slavery and what they need to do to end it.

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  1. What an important cause to highlight. And sadly, something that exists even in developed countries, like the USA. It's a complex, multi-faceted, heartbreaking issue to tackle, but praise the Lord there are people who fight it!

    1. Thank you so much for this sweet comment! It's definitely hard to read about, but I know it's harder to live through.

  2. What a great and informative post! It is so much more prevalent than so many of us ever think. I would try to give hope to those in slavery and inform the ignorant.

    1. Thank you! It was definitely one of the most time-consuming posts to write because of all the research that went into it, but I feel it was worth every moment!

  3. Love your post! It is such a dire situation in our world, and our country! I grew up on the I-5 corridor - infamous for human trafficking. Thank you for sharing your heart for the people without a voice.

    1. Thank you! It's definitely something more people need to get involved in.

  4. Very informative post! "I want my life to make a difference. I want my life to make a change!" These words are from the song Make A Difference by Rachel Kurtz.

    1. Thank you for sharing those words! They definitely share what is in my heart.