One of the articles in this month's AFA Journal (published by American Family Association ) was on human trafficking which is really slavery. It is heartbreaking to read the following excerpt:
Tanya was a regular kid. Just like any other 12-year-old in your neighborhood. Smart—taking classes for talented and gifted children. Tanya's "sin:" she walked home from school every day. One day a young man pulled his car over and said she was very pretty. He seemed sincere and had a genuine smile. He met her every day and began giving her small tokens of his affection, just a small gift here and there. He was making an investment. Six months after their first meeting, Tanya agreed to get into his car, and her life changed forever.
After beating her physically to establish his "ownership" of her, the man revealed his true intentions and became her pimp. He prostituted her out to over 100 men per month for over five years. She was arrested 17 times in almost as many states. Finally, a police officer took notice of her situation and rescued her. Tanya's story is the story of thousands of girls walking the streets of suburbia today (www.sharedhope.org).
This is slavery, and it's happening in your backyard. Imagine you are too poor to feed your daughter. A man comes from two towns over telling you about a job cleaning a nice family's house. The family promises to take care of your daughter with three meals a day and take her to the doctor if she gets sick. You send her away. When you hear nothing from her, you get' worried as any parent would. You go into the town only to find there is no family. The man has taken your innocent daughter to another country. You search for her and find her selling her body on a street corner across the border. She has been forced to take drugs until she is addicted and now sells herself as a way to keep up the addiction. This is slavery and it is happening in Asia.
The word "slavery" doesn't appear much in the news today, but "human trafficking" does. "Slave owners" are now "human traffickers." These slave traders don't use wooden ships or muskets, but they are certainly as ruthless and evil as the slave traders of old. (Oct 2009, p. 14)
Anywhere from 12 to 30 million people are the victims of human trafficking. Often governments ignore this travesty. One step in the right direction was the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) by Congress nine years ago which makes it illegal for any US citizen to abuse a child in any country. But more has to be done. There must be a proactive effort to find and prosecute those who enslave others.
We must do our part by at least praying for an end to such a vile business. It just shows us how far evil doers will go. The trafficker views other as mere objects whose only worth is the money that they can bring.
Helping to eliminate poverty is also needed. Most dioceses, like our own, have Catholic Charities to aide those in need. We can certainly give our support to it.
Let us not forget or pass by those who need our help.