We are facing an urgent human rights crisis! Human trafficking, or modern slavery, exists in every state, and every sizable city…even in some small communities and rural areas. The victims are all around you, right now.  These are children and adults being forced into commercial sex or labor through coercion or fraud.

It is vital that all of us, regardless of party or political preference, work and speak together to our politicians and law enforcement on local and national levels to stop this scourge.  Every pastor and church leader should prayerfully consider how they and their ministries can be part of setting the captives free.

Teen runaways are very vulnerable as are any people who have experienced life traumas.  Even people from other countries are tricked or forced into coming into the United States, only to be enslaved here. Their captors work in the sleaziest and most brutal quarters of organized crime or smaller criminal enterprises.  These brutal oppressors bring great danger to all of our communities, and they treat their victims in cruel, subhuman ways.

The conditions which victims must endure are almost indescribable. The acts they are forced to perform are sickening and degrading. And, when their “usefulness” to their captors is over, they are often “disposed of”.  Too many times, communities can unwittingly enable or miss the slavery happening right in front of their eyes. We must become better educated on the issue and more highly sensitized to the need.

Our communities and these victims need vocal and powerful advocates for freedom and justice.

Start locally; what is happening in your city? Talk to your local leaders, whether in government, in charities, in churches, or in law enforcement.  Discover who is already on the front lines fighting for freedom, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. If any leader is unaware or uncaring about this issue, challenge them — respectfully, but boldly and persistently.

Check out trusted groups who are involved in stopping human trafficking and sex slavery. Some of these include: Department of State Tip Office, International Justice Mission, Not For Sale, A21, END IT Movement, World Vision, Stop the Traffik, Love 146, Hard Places Community, and many others.

Also, please share this exceptional new song from the legendary rock band Kansas @KansasBand, which powerfully addresses this issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98H5Pg9U3m4

Regardless of our political affiliations, we must actively push this issue to the forefront of national awareness; we must demand that media investigate and report; we must call for government hearings and legislation to address this most critical human rights issue. We should constantly urge the new Trump Administration to do more to stop this slavery, including addressing the critical nature of the problem in our own hemisphere.

CSM will continue to provide timely information regarding this most urgent issue, and offer support where we can to effective efforts to stop human trafficking.

Information can lead to inspiration, which can lead to transformation. The clock is ticking.  At this moment, slaves are suffering. And they are not far away from you.