For Those Who Can’t Speak
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
He looks with compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which
He walks to do good.
Yours are the hands with which
He blesses all the world.
—St. Teresa of Ávila
Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Trafficking is a crime against humanity, and we as Christians cannot turn a blind eye. Christ came to set the captives free, and today we must be his body that moves to action. We must be his arms that embrace the victims. We must be his voice that speaks for those who have none.
The band Tenth Avenue North wrote the song “For Those Who Can’t Speak” to raise awareness about trafficking, and they invite you to share it today using the hashtag #SlavesNoMore.
But that’s just step one. So-called “hashtag activism” is important for creating awareness, but what happens 48 hours later when it is buried under the latest Kardashian news? What of the victims then? Yes, we all know now that they exist, but what are we doing about it?
Hence, we bring you five ways to go beyond the hashtag and fight human trafficking:
- Prayer and Fasting
We’re fighting a big, dark battle and we need the best resource we have: God’s grace and strength and mercy. Pray for the victims: even those who have gotten out have a long road of healing ahead. Pray for those on the front lines working to fight trafficking. Pray for our politicians and policy-makers. And yes, pray for those involved, the perpetrators. Pray and fast in reparation for their sins and pray for God’s mercy.
- Educate Yourself
Human trafficking affects children and adults, girls and boys. Sex trafficking is rampant, but forced labor is even more so. It happens everywhere, not just in developing countries.
- Get Political
Websites like the Polaris Project will keep you up to date on current legislation. Right now there’s a new bill in the US Congress that enforces transparency in supply chains, meaning companies have to be honest about where their labor and materials are coming from. Taking action can be as easy as copying and pasting a letter to your senator.
- Be a Responsible Consumer
Speaking of the supply chain, do you know where your goods are coming from? Websites like slaveryfootprint.org help you identify the kinds of things you buy that likely come from forced labor. It might seem overwhelming at first, but just start small. Choose one thing: for example, switch to Fair Trade coffee or chocolate instead of your usual fix.
- Find Your Niche
Reading about social justice issues is scary. It tends to leave us paralyzed: What good can I do? It’s just too big for one person. So instead of trying to save the world, ask yourself: What can I do, right here and right now? There are lots of little things you can do right where you are. Have an old cellphone? Donate it to help create regular channels of communication in high-risk areas for trafficking. Sponsor a child and keep them away from trafficking (bonus points: write your sponsor child a letter on one of these cards made by women escaping prostitution).
Start small. Start today.
It’s your move.