It is estimated that globally about 20.9 million are affected by forced labours and among them, 4.5 million (22%) are victims of forced sexual exploitation. Many of the 20.9 million are also victims of human trafficking. During the course of my serving as a project officer in the past 19 years for CEDAR, I have the opportunity to read documents, review proposals, talk to field partners and hear from community members about human trafficking issues. It is an issue that everyone wants to tackle and stop.
[ePrayer – Pray for those people vulnerable to human trafficking]
In the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, the U.S. government has downgraded Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela to Tier 3, the lowest ranking of fighting against modern-day slavery. Ironically these 3 countries are among those that promote themselves as modern and fast-developing countries.
The report cites evidence of forced labour and sex trafficking in Malaysia and Thailand. It highlights Malaysia’s problem with migrants from other Asian nations who seek work on farms, factories and construction sites only to be trapped and have their passports taken and wages withheld.
In Thailand, according to the report, there are tens of thousands of migrants from neighboring countries being exploited in the commercial sex industry, on fishing boats, and as domestic servants. This downgrading could cause some multinational companies to reconsider investments in industries accused of using trafficked labour such as fisheries, which is a lucrative business in Thailand (Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of shrimp).
And in Venezuela, women and girls are often lured from poor interior regions to tourist centers with the promise of false job offers. When they arrive, they are often forced into prostitution.
More than 20 million people worldwide are believed to be ensnared in some form of forced labour, according to the International Labour Organisation. [TIP Report, CNN, CNBC]
Meditation on Scriptures:
‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ Proverbs 31:8-9
When we think that human trafficking is far from us, are we aware that the prawns we eat may be caught by the modern slaves working on the fishing boat, the clothes we wear may be sewed by the forced labourers in the factories, and the domestic workers in our society may be treated as slaves and with their wages withheld. They are voiceless and destitute. Will you speak up for them?
Pray for those people vulnerable to human trafficking:
Pray that the government of Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela will respond actively to their human trafficking issues;
Pray that God will rescue and heal those people who suffer from modern slavery;
Pray for good cooperation between nations and international NGOs, and for a comprehensive and feasible strategy to stop human trafficking.
[ePrayer – Pray for India’s Candlelight Vigil for Stopping Human Trafficking]
India is the origin, in-transit, as well as the destination country of adults and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The Ministry of Home Affairs in India estimates that 90 percent of the victims in sex trafficking are locals. Many NGOs also observe that human trafficking is increasing in the areas in which they work.
Churches of India held a candlelight vigil in Delhi on 12 December, asking God to bring an end to all forms of human trafficking and to restore the freedom and dignity of millions.
Pray for the Current Situation of Human Trafficking in India:
May our God have mercy on the victims, let them receive the real freedom and protection, and their total-being be healed.
May our God direct the believers in every area to work together, live as the light and salt in this unjust and poor society, and bring God’s love to the victims.
May all human beings have “the image of God” restored, that everybody respect and treasure each other.
[ePrayer – Pray for the situation of undocumented children]
It is estimated that there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million irregular migrants in the European Union. Many of them are children. Most come from other European countries like Turkey, Hungary and Romania, but a large number also come from Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. The reason for migration includes family reunification, protection from persecution, better living conditions, education and economic opportunities. A large number of these undocumented children, mostly from Hungary and Romania, are also victims of trafficking. They can be exploited in prostitution, forced labour, organised begging and can be compelled to commit crimes. [IPS]
Pray for the situation of undocumented children:
Pray that the basic human rights of these Europe’s ‘invisible’ children can be protected.
Pray also that they can have access to education, healthcare and shelter.
Pray that there can be effective measures to combat human trafficking and to reduce the risk of children.