Join the campaign against human trafficking
Published 2:22 pm Monday, February 7, 2011
When the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers play for the world championship in pro-football at Super Bowl XLV, an estimated 100,000 visitors will be in the Dallas area.
The economic impact has been projected to be almost $612 million. However, large numbers of tourists with large amounts of money to spend at the biggest event in professional football also brings an increase in criminal behavior. Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbot has described the Super Bowl as “one of the biggest human-trafficking events in the United States.”
Accord-ing to a published report, the State of Texas “has been proactive in making sure their Super Bowl does not mirror the 2009 game in Tampa, Fla., where the State Department of Children and Families found at least 24 children being forced into sex slavery.”
In a news conference last November, Abbott cited the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking report that “tens of thousands of women and minors were trafficked in the Miami area during the last Super Bowl.”
Local organizations, as well as Dallas Cowboy Jay Ratliff, have joined the fight against the tragedy of child human trafficking. Ratliff has endorsed Traffick911, a North Texas organization working to stop sexual slavery, and their mission to raise awareness of the tragedy.
This tragedy occurs not just in the Dallas area, but one Texas State Senator has noted that “20 percent of all trafficking victims into the U.S. come through Texas.” In 2008, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that “38 percent of all calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hot line were from Texas.”
In reality, it’s a nationwide tragedy. “With estimates of between 100,000 to 300,000 American minors being trafficked for sex each year, the United States is one of the leading demand-and-supply countries for child prostitution,” Deena Graves, executive director of Traffick911, has said.
What can you and I do to stop this tragedy? Go to www.traffick911.org and find out ways to get involved, such as creating awareness among your friends by posting a video on your Facebook page. You’ll find links to other Christian organizations like Shared Hope International and Global Child Rescue.
As their website states, “The scope of this horrific crime is too huge for one organization to take on alone. We appreciate everyone who is volunteering their time.”
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today – more than any other time in history, states a fact sheet by the International Justice Center. Children below the age of 18 years represent between 40 and 50 percent of all forced labor victims. IJM seeks to partner with “local authorities to rescue victims from situations of ongoing abuse and ensure that they have access to aftercare services to meet their vital needs.”
James Dobson once said, “Children must be valued as our most priceless possession.” Reading about organizations and individuals trying to stop child human trafficking in our country and around the world reminds me of Jesus’ words that whatever we do for the “least of these…you did it for Me” (Matthew 24:40).