Monday, March 05, 2007

An Inconvenient Evil

I had the privilege to attend a lecture last week from Laura Lederer, the Senior Advisor on Human Trafficking for the U.S. State Department. She spoke on the problem of human trafficking in regards to the forum's theme of Women and Children: Second-Class Citizens of the World.

In one sense it was a discouraging subject, as some of the statistics and stories told were horrendous. It is estimated that 800,000 - 1,200,000 people are trafficked each year, and 80% of these are women and children. She told personal stories of women who were tricked into coming to the U.S. and treated horribly as sexual slaves. Children are preferred for industries like brick factories, cocoa plantations, and rug weaving, as their small bodies are better able to perform the required duties.

As Ms. Lederer discussed factors related to this terror, aspects like globalism opening borders and new technologies allowing cartels to organize were noted. However, one of the most interesting causes was the idea of materialism. Human beings are seen as mere commodities to be bought and sold.

People don't like this idea, but it does become the logical end of the philosophy of naturalism, that all we are is a mix of proteins that radomly became more complex over lots of time. If all we are consists of only material, then what makes humans any more special to be utilized over a rock or domestic animals?

The good news from this talk is that the United States has seen the horrors going on around the whole world (not one country or area is to blame or immune) and has committed to be a leader in this field. The government is working on passing laws here, using diplomacy to work with other countries worldwide, and giving money to support efforts to help with prevention, prosecution, and protection.

It is not only the government that works on behalf of these powerless victims. There are numerous groups that work in this field. One such group is International Justice Mission. They are one of the most comprehensive groups in this arena. They identify cases of abuse and slavery in different areas, they investigate, and they bring the information to the local authorities and remind them of what local law says regarding such activity. They have programs to help victims cope after such trauma, as well as working toward prevention of the abuse to begin with. This page shows quotes from such varied people as Rick Warren, Chuck Colson, and Senator Hillary Clinton. You can read the truth of such atrocities in the book Terrify No More, by the founder of IJM.

Finally, I encourage any reading this to consider giving to such groups as IJM, World Vision, or other organizations known to be helping victims of trafficking. You can give to IJM by going here.

I mentioned human trafficking being the natural outworking of a naturalistic philosophy. I don't mean that all who hold to this idea support human trafficking - it is just a logical conclusion from such a worldview. Conversely, it is people from a Biblical worldview, who value life because of the Creator and Giver of life, who are in the forefront of the new abolitionist movement to defeat this evil and bring justice and peace to the most vunerable.

Micah 6:8 says, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." I invite those who love Jesus to follow through with His heart of mercy in reaching the least of these!

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