Modern-day slavery, it’s a worldwide problem that impacts us all.

By June 2, 2005

International (MNN) — Across the world, millions of people are living in horrendous situations, not by their own choice, but because they are victims of human trafficking.

World Hope International is part of a consortium of faith-based organizations that are confronting this issue first-hand with programs in several countries. Kristin Wiebe is the director of anti-trafficking programs for World Hope. She is on her way to Sierra Leone and Liberia to work with their programs in those countries, to raise awareness about the issue, and involve government leaders in attacking the problems in their own countries.

This week, the U-S State Department will release its newest report on world human trafficking. The numbers in the past have been in the hundreds of thousands for international trafficking, but are well-into the millions for those trafficked within their own countries.

Wiebe says, “Human trafficking goes by a variety of names. You’ll often hear it called trafficking in persons, or modern-day slavery. What it comes down to is the buying and selling of human beings in order to exploit them.”

That exploitation takes many forms, but the effects are all dehumanizing–being sold into sexual slavery and forced prostitution, bonded labor, child soldiers, street beggars, and even being used for organs. There’s a psychological process of dehumanization that occurs as a result of this travesty, says Wiebe.

Women and children are the vast majority of trafficked human beings, many of them being from war-torn or poverty-stricken situations.

World Hope believes each person is valuable, and that’s why, Wiebe declares this fight to be important, “As Christians we believe that human beings are made in the image of God and that we have intrinsic dignity to ourselves. We are children of God, we are not to be bought and sold and exploited. I think that is the foundation of it. Christ came so that we would be liberated.”

Wiebe calls Christians to action. “As Christian people we have a duty to pay attention to this, to pay attention to human suffering, and this is just the embodiment of one of the worst forms of human suffering in the world.”

Pray for the victims caught in this web of exploitation. Pray for God’s touch on their lives and His liberation through salvation. Pray for those who are working both in eliminating human trafficking and also those who are helping rehabilitate those who have been rescued from that lifestyle.

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