The Story: At least four separate human trafficking cases are now making their way through state and U.S. District Court, notes the Detroit Free Press. But for every case that is prosecuted, thousands go unreported because the victims are afraid or don't know who to turn to for help. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hot line gets 1,000 calls a month about suspected trafficking victims.
"I don't think that people realize that slavery is alive and well in the U.S.," says Amy Allen, a victim witness specialist who works with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents investigating human trafficking. "And that's what this is. You can nuance it in different terms, but it's slavery."
The Background: As the Free Press notes, in recent years, the number of cases has increased from 300 in 2008 to 2,515 in 2010.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking has become the second-fastest-growing criminal industry---just behind drug trafficking---with children accounting for roughly half of all victims. Of the 2,515 cases under investigation in the U.S. in 2010, more than 1,000 involved children.
The United Nations estimates it's a $32-billion industry, with half of the money coming from industrialized countries.
Why It Matters: There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Human trafficking is occurring in every nation on earth---including the U.S.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, British and American Christians were the leaders of the abolition movement. It's time that modern-day Christians once again take our place in the struggle against slavery.
In order to do that we must become better informed. We must act. We must do our duty to help our neighbor. Our God has set us free. It's time we do the same for his children.
[Note: If you find a story our community should know about, please send the link to joe.carter *at* thegospelcoalition.org.]