Summary: Want to make a profit? Invest in slaves! Since 1860 the number of slaves went up by 2 Million. The price rose from $ 135 in 1860 to $ 140 today. When we consider the complexity of human trafficking, it is easy to despair. The problem is so huge that nothing less than a total recalibration of our global economy seems required, which may be why jubilee and Sabbath years were declared necessary by God (See Lev. 25). All of us are part of unjust systems of commerce and exploitative patterns of life that feed human trafficking. But recognizing this can also give us a place to begin working with God to build relationships, policies, and practices that make us accountable to one another and help us love our neighbor in all that we do. HUMAN TRAFFICKING SUNDAY Ev. Luth. Parish of St. Matthew and St. Timothy Aug. 24th, 2014 These are suggestions taken from a bulletin insert the Salvation Army prepared for a Weekend of Prayer in September 2012. Check out their other resources at http://salvationist.ca/action-support/human-trafficking/ Think before you buy In 2011 the UN estimated that 150 million children aged 5-14 in developing countries were involved in child labour. Take a few minutes exploring slaveryfootprint.org - it’s a stark commentary on how we all contribute to this problem. Reach out to youth A lack of community resources for youth – from childcare to recreational programs – can yield a breeding ground for exploitation and vulnerability. Building relationships, especially with vulnerable youth, can make an immeasurable difference – in people’s lives and in your community. What can you and your faith community do to make a difference this way? Advocate for justice Many trafficked persons live in fear of speaking out and advocating for their personal rights and freedoms. Believe it or not, writing a letter or speaking with your elected officials is one of the most effective ways of advocacy. Information on letter-writing can be found at www.bit.ly/ObXJbZ Form relationships with the vulnerable No one likes feeling helpless. Think of a time that you felt helpless, lost or vulnerable. There are people in our communities who live these feelings daily. Caring and supportive relationships can go a long way toward ensuring the vulnerable do not become entangled in unhealthy activities and networks Fight injustice The most vulnerable experience injustice in ways we can’t begin to fathom. Even our food choices can make a difference. Oxfam has come up with five practical actions for all of us to consider (www.bit.ly/Q7mZah), noting “If enough people act, the reverberations will be felt right along the food chain.” Imagine a world without trafficking Human trafficking is second only to drug trafficking as the largest criminal activity in the world. (Ref: RCMP Criminal Intelligence, Project Seclusion: Human Trafficking in Canada, Ottawa, 2010) Most change movements start with a dream of a better world. Let your imagination be your guide. Champion prevention Did you know that the likelihood of someone being trafficked rises exponentially if they live in poverty without a supportive community? Find out what programs exist in your neighbourhood or city that work with the dispossessed. There may even be some operating out of your church community. Are there ways in which you can become involved or supportive of them? Keep praying Do include petitions for enslaved people and for justice in world economy in your daily prayers.