January is now being called Human Trafficking Awareness Month. As a matter of fact, Jan. 11 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day. As the president of a ministry that rescues trafficked girls, I've been asked how JOY International (joy.org) participated. Huh? What are we going to do during Human Trafficking Awareness Month?
The people asking the question mean well, but I cannot bring myself to promote a Human Trafficking Awareness Day or Month. Not when we fight this evil 24 hours a day, every day—365 days a year! What do we do, focus on trafficking this month, then move on to another issue or cause next month?
During national Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we have been doing the same thing we've been doing for many years: fighting without ceasing and making people aware of the tragedy as long as a child is being used and abused by the evil, heinous crime of human trafficking somewhere in our world. This should be our No. 1 fight every day—not just today! As I write this, literally millions of children, teens and young women (and boys and men) are being forced into slavery.
Many people, especially children, are forced into the world of commercial sexual exploitation. Yes—it's happening this very second somewhere in our world. I don't have to set aside a particular day, week or month, because I work and pray every day for opportunities to rescue even one more child. Even as I wrote this, I just returned from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where the JOY International tactical operations team and our partners at Agape International Ministries (AIM) spent a week training Cambodian police in tactics that will directly lead to the rescue of more victims.
No worse crime than sex trafficking has been perpetrated against a child since the dawn of creation, and we all should be doing something to fight it in some way. I know that not everyone can go and rescue enslaved girls—but everyone can help send someone who is called to go. We have teams ready to go throughout the world in search of these children. Send people like us (and AIM SWAT Team); pray for us; pray for these children—right now, today, every day—until the last child is set free.
Sorry, my friends, I just cannot go along with Human Trafficking Awareness Day or Human Trafficking Awareness Month, as the evil crime of sex trafficking needs to be before us every day. If your child was kidnapped and forced into the child sex trade, you'd you be crying out for people to be aware and motivated to action—every day.
My friends, it may not be your child, but every child is a child of God. His creation. As we come to the end of this Human Trafficking Awareness "Month," remember this: awareness is good, but awareness without action is apathy. It is my sincere hope and prayer that as this month ends and in the months to come, you will be motivated to action to help set another captive free.
Jeff Brodsky is president of JOY International. His organization rescues girls out of brothels in Southeast Asia and they are training police in Cambodia in tactics to do the rescues themselves.
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