The scourge of human trafficking is accelerating in the United States at a rapid pace, according to Christian agency Gospel for Asia (GFA, www.gfa.org ).
To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, GFA is sounding the alarm that the U.S. is now one of the top three nations in the world for human trafficking — the trade and sale of people for sex or forced labor. For more information, read GFA’s special report on human trafficking at www.gfa.org/press/human-trafficking.
“Tens of thousands of hidden slaves are among us,” said GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan.
“The modern slave trade includes young girls who’ve been forced to marry or enter prostitution, migrant laborers who’ve had their passports confiscated and are living in fear of deportation, and children forced to work in sweat shops and other exploitive conditions who make products and clothes we buy,” Yohannan said.
GFA says the top three nations for human trafficking victims in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines, according to the U.S. State Department. And, while estimates vary, the Australian-based Global Slavery Index estimated there were 403,000 people living in modern slavery in the U.S. in 2016. Of the estimated 20-30 million slaves in the world today, four out of every five are women or girls.
“As we remember all victims of this horrific trade on July 30, it’s especially alarming that the United States is one of the biggest sources of human slavery,” said Yohannan, adding: “But let’s remember that every nation in the world is impacted by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination.”
The “hidden victims” of trafficking need the church to speak out for justice, Yohannan said. “We need to do all we can to help them.”
GFA said that contrary to what many people assume, not all trafficking victims are smuggled across international borders. Many women and girls trafficked for sex in the U.S. are American citizens.
The number of people – mostly women and girls as young as five – trafficked within their own country for forced labor or sex has doubled in recent years, representing almost six out of every 10 global trafficking victims, according to a 2018 report by the United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime.
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SOURCE: Assist News