Human Trafficking

If you’re not sure what human trafficking is, here’s a definition:

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receiving of a human being through force, fraud, or coercion, for the purposes of commercial sex, pornography, labor, involuntary servitude, or debt bondage. (U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2008)

Essentially, human trafficking is slavery.

Human trafficking doesn’t necessarily involve smuggling (like drug and weapons trafficking do), nor is it necessarily about “illegal immigrants” who are brought to this country without the proper paperwork.  Human trafficking can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone–especially to those who are vulnerable–children, runaways, drug addicts, people without a safety net.  Force, fraud, or coercion–those are the keys.  

Why are people trafficked?  

–Cheap or Free Labor

–Prostitution

–Pornography (especially child pornography)

–Criminal activity.

Human trafficking is becoming more popular than drugs, money laundering, and guns for organized crime.  This is primarily because guns and drugs are disposable resources, while humans represent a resource that can be continually exploited and re-sold.  

More facts on human trafficking can be found at the Polaris Project, a national organization that combats human trafficking, and a list of 55 Facts About Trafficking can be found here.

What can we do about it?  Well, we can begin by learning as much as we can about human trafficking.  Then, we can begin efforts to find out, prevent, and stop human trafficking wherever we may be.  

To that end, I will be moderating a panel discussion on January 29th at 11 a.m. in the Dicke Forum here on the campus of ONU.  The event is free and open to the public, and will include experts from our own Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice Department, and the Northwest Ohio Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition.  If you’re in the area, join us for this time of discussion about this important issue.  

Blessings,

David

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New Semester Starting Soon!

It’s been a busy, but good, break, and I’m looking forward to the students returning to campus in a few days for the start of Spring Semester 2013!  I’ve already seen a few students around campus and around town, and it’s good to see them back.  You see, my job is to work with students, and if they aren’t in town, there’s not much for me to do!  Although we have had a few things around the office and the Chapel that we’ve been doing–things that couldn’t get done in the midst of a busy Fall semester.  So, I’ve not been without work, I’m just looking forward to working with students again. 

The spring semester should have lots of energy and great projects to work on: Hairless for Habitat (I get my head shaved if they reach $700), Habitat spring break trips, a new “Busy Person’s Retreat,” Chapel worship (featuring some great guest speakers this semester–come see us at 11 a.m. on Thursdays!  Plus, I’ll still be preaching every other week), and hiring our new student staff members for next year!  I’m sure that about a dozen other things will come along as we progress through the semester, but I’m ready for it all!  With the power of prayer, and God giving us guidance, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

Blessings,

David