This weekend is a weekend of prayer. Tomorrow is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. According to the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) an estimated 27 million people are trafficked globally on an annual basis.
NCR reports some amazing data. Did you know human trafficking is growing in the crime industry, second in scope only to the drug trade and equal to arms? Revenue from human trafficking is estimated at more than $32 billion annually.
Can you imagine 27 million people being abducted and forced to do what their captors wish? Can you imagine it happening to someone you love?
It might be hard to think about, but it does happen every day. People are taken; people are enslaved; people aren’t free.
For Northwest Florida locals, tomorrow is the Not My Child Human Trafficking Awareness event at the Pelican Beach Resort Conference Center in Destin. It’s an event to prevent sexual exploitation on the Emerald Coast. Here are more events across the nation.
Last January, the Safe Harbor Act went into effect in Florida. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, “It helps ensure the safety of child victims who have been trafficked for sex and allows children who are rescued from prostitution to get help from child welfare professionals instead of being placed in juvenile delinquency.
This allows the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Juvenile Justice, law enforcement and our local partners across the state to treat and help the victims of this abuse. They will receive intensive treatment in residential settings that are already being prepared for their safety and success.”
Can you imagine being forced to prostitute yourself and then being prosecuted for it? It happens that way in many places.It’s overwhelming to think about. So what can we do? Keep our eyes open and remember to pray this weekend. Set aside a half hour or more to pray for the victims, the perpetrators, the law enforcement professionals, and all those who suspect something is wrong but don’t know what it is or what to do.
Be aware. If you suspect any kind of trafficking may be occurring, call the National Hotline number for the Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-3737-888.God bless!