Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Kitchen Sink Conversation

Standing by the kitchen sink talking to Becca...

Okay, so last night I started Gary Haugen's book Terrify No More--you know, the founder of IJM.  So. Good.

Those guys at IJM are like for real SUPER.HEROES.  Seriously.  They use like all kinds of covert operations--insane stuff--because they have to have evidence to stop the bad guys.

Here's the part that totally got me, though.  This dude is undercover in Cambodia and he secretly videos these young girls around like 8 or 9-years old and one of them is carrying a 5-year-old that they are also offering up for prostitution.

{Pause.}  (When I read it--I had to put the book down.  Dear God, NO.  What?!  And wipe away the tears.  I don't get this.)

Okay, but here's the thing, because the police are involved in the trafficking they can't just stop it.  The police not only use the girls, but they also supply them.  And it goes high up.  It's so twisted.

It's so totally complicated and with no help from authorities in Cambodia, rescuing those girls seemed completely impossible.  They almost didn't do it.

But they realized that because they knew about it they couldn't just walk away.  Those girls were worth it.

Eventually--like a year later--they rescued almost 40 girls in one day--including that little girl from their tape! 

But this stuff is still happening all over the world.  What am I supposed to do with it?

Have you seen this, though?  Right now there's this huge movement with the Passion Conference and A21 Campaign and they both have these lists of things that you can do to help. 

Did you know you can write letters to the girls who have been rescued?  How hands on is that?  If I can manage to get to the mailbox.

Oh, and the 72 Days for Freedom site has a 30-minute documentary about human-trafficking--not just sex slave trade.  Like in India some rice plantations use slaves.  Have you seen my pantry?  I have like lots of different kinds of rice!  Maybe I'm supporting this stuff!

AND, have you seen the Not for Sale site?  It has a SlaveryMap where you can look up where you live--right here in the United States--and see all of the incidences of human trafficking right where you live.  For real, Becca.  Stuff not far from here.  Like what we're reading about happening in other countries--it happens here.  Not okay.

But here's what I'm just a little starting to get.  I am just a stay-at-home mom in the suburbs, can I really make a difference?  Maybe.  At least a little bit.  Because what I'm understanding is that in these places where the governments are corrupt--they are still influenced by the United States.  It's about money.

But, here, we do actually have a voice.  We can sign petitions.  We can write letters to Congresspeople.  The more we talk about it, the more pressure there is to deal with it.

Like they can start putting regulations in their trade agreements.  Then when governments start fighting on behalf of the victims instead of the perpetrators the culture of acceptance in those countries starts to change.  When there are crack downs on brothels with severe consequences it makes it harder for other ones to operate.  Totally makes a difference.

Ugh...this stuff is so totally complicated.  But now we know about it, so we have to do something, right?

This stuff really is hard.   And, whew, there's so much I don't know.  But, here are a few things:

Opportunities to Do More
72 Days for Freedom: 27 Ways to Do More
A21 Campaign: 21 Ways to Help

Stand for Freedom Petition 

The Day My God Died (Watch)
(Coming Soon)
At The End of Slavery
Not My Life

The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine
Slave: My True Story
Terrify No More

Learn More  
CNN Freedom Project
International Justice Mission

1 comment:

  1. I was awfully quiet:) love walking this with you!