• After drug dealing, human trafficking (both sex trafficking and trafficking for forced labor) is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest growing. (U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services)
• Worldwide, there are nearly two million children in the commercial sex trade. (UNICEF)
• There are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 children, women and men trafficked across international borders annually. (U.S. Department of State)
• Approximately 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls, and up to 50 percent are minors. (U.S. Department of State)
• The total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion. (U.N.)
• Sex trafficking is an engine of the global AIDS epidemic.(U.S. Department of State)
This is where the International Justice Mission comes in. They go after the guilty and seek legal action against them. They currently work in Bolivia, India, Cambodia and the Philippines and have freed more than 1,000 women and girls from the sex slave trade. Our court system here in the U.S. may have it’s flaws, but there are others countries where the court systems are essentially useless because no one ever prosecutes the guilty. IJM steps in and does what others don’t have the resources or the courage to do. Human trafficking is about profit. When you free the enslaved and prosecute the guilty, the risk goes up and the profitability is affected.
Hey students and teachers! There are resources specifically geared at YOU that allow you to help IJM continue their work!! Loose Change to Loosen Chains is just one of these programs. IJM will provide you with specially designed collection cups and educational materials so you – teachers and students – can get your school involved in making a difference in the lives of those who have been bought and sold. An article in Real Simple magazine stated that there is an estimated $10.5 billion (yes, that said billion) in loose change just lying around in American households. Can you imagine the lives that could be drastically changed for the better if an organization like IJM got their hands on even a fraction of that?! College students, you can create an IJM chapter on your campus. Check out the Get Involved page on the IJM website for more details and information
The statistics above are sickening. There are times I wonder if the little bit I am doing is enough. Then I am reminded that I am not alone. There are others out there like me, modern day abolitionists who do what they can with what they have right where they are. What about you? Are you an artist who can use their creativity as a platform for educating those around you? Are you a student who can start a Loose Change program at your school? You may not be able to relocate to another country to work hands on with those who are in bondage or have been set free. But you have a voice. Are you ready to use it?