Global Women is an organization of abolitionists! We pray for and long for an end to the travesty of modern-day slavery that is human trafficking.
An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 women and children are trafficked into the U.S. annually, primarily for the sex industry, Johnson writes. (PhotoBucket)
Embedded in the DNA of our 11-year history are strategies to educate our constituents about trafficking as well as partnerships with international and U.S.-based organizations focused on the issue.
We have long-term relationship with Beginning of Life (BOL), an organization based in Moldova, which seeks to stop human trafficking.
For those unfamiliar with the plight of Moldova, it is helpful to know that it is the poorest country in Europe. Many people live in villages where life is hard.
Countrywide, higher education for girls is not valued and jobs are scarce. Motivated by the need to provide for their families and a desire for a better life, women are easy prey for human traffickers.
Beginning of Life works among vulnerable women and victims of social injustice (human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse) through a wide range of holistic programs that focus on prevention, rehabilitation and restoration.
These include training for schoolteachers, youth outreach, counseling, groups for young mothers, and a residential program.
In the most recent issue of Beginning of Life's newsletter, BOL's president, Vladimir Ubeivolc, gives voice to the severity of the problem. He writes:
"This year I graduate from high school, but have no idea about what I am going to do in the future." This is the most common saying of new graduates. Many graduates don't know what profession to choose, where to go to college and what to do in life. This makes them very vulnerable in the face of labor migration and human trafficking. What makes it even worse is knowing that 50 percent of human trafficking victims have just graduated from school in 2011.
Global Women will take a volunteer team to Moldova this year from July 31-Aug. 11. Members of this team will work alongside Yulia Ubeivolc, Natasha Klapanyuk and the Christian social ministry team from Beginning of Life to conduct a camp outside the city for women who have been trafficked, prostituted or abused.
Our team will assist with games and crafts while sharing love and encouragement to the women and their children attending camp.
In addition to human trafficking, Global Women projects are opportunities to respond to needs of women around the world.
Projects bring women together, connecting needs to resources through teaching new skills, providing clean water, addressing human trafficking, promoting maternal health and supporting micro-enterprises.
In 2013, the organization is at work in Burma (Myanmar), Central Asia, Haiti, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal and among Latina women in Texas and North Carolina.
Global Women recognizes that the issues we address through our connections with indigenous Christian women leaders in places like those listed above represent matters of critical concern worldwide.
Human trafficking is the perfect example. According to the Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking, a program of The Salvation Army, somewhere between 700,000 and 4 million women, children and men are trafficked each year, and no region of the globe is unaffected.
An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 women and children are trafficked into the United States annually, primarily for the sex industry. They are lured with false promises of employment as nannies, models, waitresses and factory workers.
While the attention of our nation is turned to New Orleans this week for Super Bowl XLVII and Mardi Gras, it is a critical time to be alert and take action on behalf of those who are trafficked.
Kara Van de Carr, executive director of Eden House, a home for trafficking victims in New Orleans, spoke to WWL-TV in New Orleans on Jan. 14 saying: "The Super Bowl is actually estimated to be one of the largest human trafficking events in the world and it's because anytime there is increased demand, there will be increased supply."
According to the Polaris Project, one of the global organizations fighting against human trafficking, the following is a partial list of potential red flags and indicators of human trafficking to help you recognize the signs.
The person is:
● Not free to leave or come and go as he or she wishes
● Under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
● In the commercial sex industry and has a pimp/manager
● Unpaid, paid very little or paid only through tips
● Working excessively long or unusual hours
● Not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
● Under high security measures in the work or living locations (that is, opaque windows, boarded-up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras and so on)
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center staffs a 24/7 hotline (1-888-373-7888) to receive reports from anywhere in the country related to suspicious behaviors, potential victims and locations where trafficking is suspected to be occurring. Free training and assessment tools are also available by calling the hotline.
Human trafficking is a global issue and it is going to take all of us working together to abolish trafficking in our world today.
Trudy Johnson is the associate director of Global Women. Visit the Global Women's Facebook page. Follow Global Women on Twitter.