It has been a month since I started investigating human trafficking. What have I been up to?
I spent some time speaking with some wonderful people at Not for Sale ministries to find out more about human trafficking. Specifically, things that can be done on a local level to abolish human trafficking. I will write more about that in the coming days.
Some of my dear friends have their own dear friends who are missionaries in this field. Among them are Katharine, a woman who is a missionary in London who works with International Teams and a missionary named Christopher whose family’s mission field is Thailand. Their stories are amazing. Their hearts are full of a desire to love like Jesus loves and to reach into darkness and be a light. I hope to write more about what they are doing in the coming months. Please be praying for them!
I was surprised to receive a message from a girl I went to High School with and who was on Track & Field with me. Her message is below and reminds me that human trafficking is an issue that is very real, even though it is so easy to ignore. I’ve made some grammatical edits/clarifications where necessary since this was all a conversation on Facebook. I plan to release more of her stories and insights down the road, but here are a few bits and pieces of our fascinating conversation:
Most people dont think about this as an issue and it really is quite serious. I just wanted to let you know about a special that is on CNN about trafficking. It seems pretty interesting and not sure that you knew about it.
I worked as a civilian military police officer on a military base. We were informed and made aware about trafficking through a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) officer who was also a highway patrol man (he was both, career in law enforcement). What drug cartels are now doing in Mexico is human trafficking into the US since the US is hitting them hard with all of the drug busts and repossessions they have had in the past year or two. What the cartels do is abduct citizens in their own vehicle or get in your with you in it. Then they tell you that they will kill all your family members if you do not do what they tell you to do (since they take your identification from you). They also threaten to kill your child if your child is in the car with you. Eventually you know that you will die if you do not do what the abductors say and they will not take your child with you. The abductors will leave your child in the car they took from you to die. (Its very sad makes me cry just thinking about it). It is easier to make money this way then getting drugs across the border.
There was a marine I worked with whose wife was at the blood donation center donating blood. She was feeling dizzy so she thought she would get some fresh air. So she went to the side of the building and stood there for a few seconds when a car pulled up asking her if she wanted to make money. She said no. The guys in the car kept talking to her telling her that she would be perfect and she was felt like there was something wrong and started to walk to the front of the building. As she started walking one of the guys tried getting out of the car to pull her in. She ran to the front, still dizzy and told the front desk. The cops were called, she gave a description of the individuals. Apparently these two men were known for abducting girls into Mexico for trafficking, but they just haven’t been caught yet. These abductors change vehicles, used missing persons’ vehicles or stolen vehicles.
It is hard to believe that something like human trafficking hits so close to home. I have heard from multiple sources that drug cartels are switching to human trafficking because it is more lucrative. While drugs can only be sold once before they have to get more supply, the drug cartels have discovered that men, women and children can be forced into labor or the sex trade many times over.
In an effort to illustrate that human trafficking is something that hits closer to home than we think, the folks over at Not for Sale Campaign have created a slavery map that shows reported instances of slavery occurring throughout the United States and the world. Check out the map. You’d be surprised to see how many reports are coming from our own backyards.
Have suggestions, questions or comments? Leave them in the comment section or shoot me an email at tallgrl98(at)aol(dot)com.