February 23, 2024
Chris Hardy--Panelists discuss ways to help stop human trafficking at the Freedom Summit in late January.

Sold, bought, captured and enslaved. This is what happens when a person is trapped in the world of human trafficking” one of the greatest modern forms of slavery.

“There isn’t much question about the horror of trafficking” it is well and widely documented. But allowing it to go on by ignoring it, being paralyzed by the enormity of the problem, or just being too lazy to spend the next 50 years stamping it out is also an evil I am unwilling to tolerate,” Amy Stumpf, associate professor of society and religion, said.

January was declared National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month on Jn. 4, 2010. President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation that declared January the month dedicated to such social injustices.

Children, as well as adults, are captured, tricked and forced into a life of sex slavery. They are in bondage and seemingly have no way out, they are deemed hopeless and lost.

Sex trafficking can be looked at as a very daunting injustice. How can one help in the aid of saving women, children and men from such an oppressive evil? It may seem as though society will never make a dent into this atrocity; but it starts with the smallest forms of opposition.

“It is hard for students who care deeply about trafficking and other social problems to figure out how to do more than just care, worry, or feel bad. Students don’t usually have gobs of money, political or social clout, or other forms of power,” Stumpf said.

Stumpf encourages letting those in Congress know exactly how each person feels about human trafficking.

“The very important Trafficking Victims Protection Act will expire this year, and must be reauthorized by Congress. That will mean lots of us need to let our senators and representatives that we want them to approve the TVPRA. But often I talk with students who want to break down brothel doors but don’t have the patience for the tedious works of prayer and nagging those with power. But folks, that’s the ballgame in the anti-trafficking movement.”

Opposition through votes and campaigns may not be the kind of opposition against traffickers that the average person thinks of right away. But it is through voting and through especially prayer that will ultimately bring the end to human trafficking.

IJM member Brooklyn Wagner, senior and anthropology major, believes heavily in the power of prayer.

“Prayer is a big part of what we spend our time doing in meetings and we’ve heard amazing stories from IJM headquarters about what they’ve been able to accomplish through our prayer and support,” Wagner said.

After January’s awareness for slavery and human trafficking, February celebrates Freedom Day. Feb. 1, 2011 will celebrate the variety of freedoms that many take for granted. This Freedom Day, pray for those who are not free but are persecuted, enslaved and seemingly hopeless.

As a bond-servant of Christ, a slave to His purposes and His heart for the world, it is the Christian’s purpose to help these trapped people. Become educated on the matter. Become familiar with organizations and institutions whose mission it is to abolish human trafficking, such as The Sold Project and Children of the Night.

Stumpf is also the faculty advisor for California Baptist University’s on campus chapter of the International Justice Mission. The group meets Tuesday afternoons from 3:30 p.m. to 4:3o p.m. in the Yeager Center in room B112.

Justice Week will be held Feb. 7 to Feb. 11. Make sure to be on the look out for flyers and information on the weeks events.

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