I sat there staring at the numbers in front of me….
1 in 35
Such a small number yet so hard to grasp the magnitude that exists in such a ratio.
1 in 35 people in Moldova are victims of human trafficking.
These numbers make me uncomfortable. Make me sick to my stomach. They leave me depleted. They leave me ripped apart.
I think of the 84 people that work for our company and quickly do the math in my head that means at least two of my co-workers would be part of this statistic.
With such numbers, chances are everyone in Moldova knows someone affected by trafficking. It’s their daughter, sister, cousin, neighbor, the shy girl in the pew at church.
I’m trying to reconcile these facts in my brain. I can’t seem to.
Human trafficking, slavery – for that is what it actually is – doesn’t seem to translate well into our 21st century mindset. Not after slavery has been abolished for over a century.
Our coffee beans and cacao beans for our chocolate magically get harvested or at the very least are harvested by workers who get paid fairly.
Prostitutes are just girls who don’t think well enough about themselves and so they sell their bodies.
That’s why we have fair trade coffee & chocolate. Why a piece of us breaks when we hear of sweat shops across the world paying pennies to those who’ve worked 18+ hour days.
And prostitutes…yes, while some sell their bodies because they can make a quick buck (or 300), many have no choice in the matter.
Lest you think this isn’t a problem in the US, between 2008 & 2010 the Dept. of Justice opened 2,515 cases for human trafficking – an average of 3.5 cases a day! And of course this is only cases that were opened. It doesn’t speak to the vastness of predators who didn’t get caught. This isn’t a problem happening in another country. It’s happening in our own back yards.
My intention isn’t to make you feel guilt. It is to make you aware. Awareness helps breed action. Action breeds change.
Over the next few months I’ll be talking quite a bit about Moldova and about trafficking. I’ll share posts others have written as well. Thank you for supporting me.
Prudence is going to Moldova January 20 – 28, 2013, with Children’s HopeChest. You can learn more about her trip here. She greatly appreciates your support no matter what form. ♥