These days, it is not unusual for corporations to virtually beg you to like them on Facebook. It can feel a bit empowering to see some of the most powerful organizations in the world seemingly on their knees, looking for your approval—looking for you to “like” them on Facebook. It may feel like you are going through high school all over again, and this time you are the most popular kid in your class, everyone wanting your approval. While it is not completely impossible that the corporate obsession with “likes” on Facebook points to a deep insecurity in corporations that could be only solved by some sort of Psychiatrist for corporations, (just a little joke) what seems to be going on is that corporations recognize the great significance of awareness. Corporations stand or fall based on how many people click on them and share them on social media. Corporations cannot help but recognize the great importance of awareness.
So how does this relate to human trafficking? Last time we talked about how taking small actions can make a huge difference, and I now propose to you the perfect small action to take to help end human trafficking. Something as simple as sharing an article about human trafficking on social media raises awareness, and, as corporations know from their own experience, is a big deal. As corporations increase their profits with awareness, so do anti-human trafficking organizations increase their funds to stop modern day slavery. It is rather difficult to stop human trafficking without these funds, for catching human traffickers and bringing them to justice, caring for the victims, and changing the societal norms that perpetuate human trafficking takes lots of money.
But it is not only money that makes a difference. Rich or poor, we can help raise awareness, as this is free. Awareness is not just a means to an end, but an end in itself. Jesus said that, “Whoever does evil hates the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” Exposing the dark deeds of human trafficking, committed by those who seek to hide it in brothels and sweatshops, forces these things into the light. If we do things as simple as turning on a light, we will expose thousands of criminals with a smoking gun in their hand.
The pimp or brothel owner who prostitutes underage girls in India, and the man who kidnaps or buys those girls, (often around the age of 12 from the poorest areas) cannot handle their deeds being brought into the light. It exposes a trade so vile that the whole world will be filled with outrage and moved to action, as the great Abolitionist William Wilberforce said of some of his day, “I verily believe, therefore, if the wretchedness of any one of the many hundred negroes stowed in each ship could be brought before their view… that there is no one among them whose heart would bear it.” Think of all of the corporations who plead with you to “like” them on Facebook, and see the power you have been given to help rescue the helpless. Let us use this power and it will terrify the criminals who perpetuate the evils of modern slavery, for they hate the light, because it means that their deeds will be exposed.
Here are some links that you can share on social media: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/19/women-slavery-half-the-sky
(This is an article about a NY Times Journalist and his story of literally buying modern day slaves and freeing them from bondage)
Obama’s comments on modern slavery: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/obama-outlines-efforts-to-prevent-modern-slavery/
If you are interested in helping more, maybe try the “What you can do” section of this site. I would especially recommend emailing various non-profit organizations and asking if there are ways you can specifically help the cause, even if it is in a small way. Below are some of the organizations and people to email about helping:
Traffick Free - Richelle@traffickfree.org
Chicago Alliance against Sexual Exploitation – Rachel@caase.org
Salvation Army : Promise - Frank_massolini@usc.salvationary.org
Salvation Army: Stop-It – firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us use the power at our fingertips!
- Jeff Ganim, Traffick Free Volunteer