Justice Matters Blog

Human Trafficking: Prevention Is Key

Blog by Kelly Bell
I’m excited that we’ll be focusing on PREVENTION this year at Justice Matters.  This is a crucial part of the anti-human trafficking efforts around the world, as well as in our own community. Human Trafficking PREVENTION should be anyone’s business, but the unfortunate truth is that some prefer to look the other way for fear of becoming part of the investigation, or even part of the solution. One of the biggest impediments to anti-human trafficking efforts is a lack of understanding of the issue and the complexity of the crime. Education opens all kinds of doors for us and helps us understand what to look for, what to do when we see something, and how to help prevent individuals from being exploited.  If we better understand the vulnerabilities of people that exploiters target and the risk factors that contribute to their exploitation, then we can do something about it. Learning how human trafficking and other forms of exploitation affects our community and our world is the first step to help prevent its continuation.

Let’s look at this from God’s perspective, shall we? We are ALL made in the image of God … each one of us (Genesis 1:27).  We have value; we have been given a unique status, a divine dignity, some call it. God has given us life by sharing His own breath with us (Genesis 2:7) and we are set apart from the rest of creation.  And because of that very reason, each person matters.  Human Trafficking matters because PEOPLE matter. And no one, ever, has the right to own anyone, exploit anyone, or force individuals to do things because they are vulnerable. We should be protecting those in our world who are vulnerable! Human Trafficking, whether it’s forced labor, sex trafficking, indentured servitude, etc., must not be tolerated, in any form.

As we discuss PREVENTION, we can begin to understand how to address risk factors at multiple levels, including education, advocacy, prosecution, protection, and partnerships. Historically, PREVENTION used to only focus on awareness campaigns, etc., but now it includes conversations about changing laws, addressing significant vulnerabilities, collaborating with organizations to help protect, and funding efforts of anti-human trafficking efforts. Oh …. PREVENTION is Key! Come learn about what we can do, how we can do it, and why we should do it. Remember, Human Trafficking PREVENTION is everyone’s business. It’s a Justice issue.  And if the Lord Loves Justice, so should we! (Isaiah 61:8)

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