Reflecting on the title of the forum, “Sins Before our Eyes” Archbishop Justin said: “Slavery is all around us, but we are too blind to see it. The enslaved are next to us in the streets, but we are too ignorant to walk alongside them. It is still a living reality in all of our communities; our sin lies in blindness and ignorance” he said.
“The tragedy of slavery is that it is a human condition of our own making,” the Archbishop added. “It is driven by human greed and those that would make a profit from excessively cheap labor. Slavery is one of the most profitable international criminal industries. It feeds on human vulnerability. The majority of those who find themselves enslaved come from marginalized and impoverished communities.”
The forum reflected on different dimensions of modern slavery, including in labor exploitation, in supply chains, domestic servitude, prostitution, cyber exploitation, and organ trafficking – targeting the most vulnerable: children and young people, migrants and refugees, those impacted by conflict, inequalities and climate change. All these factors intersect to render people more vulnerable to the deceptions and brutality of traffickers.
The forum heard accounts of real life slavery. One story was about Rani, sold aged just 12, who worked in private homes in the UK. Her situation was horrific: a child working seven days a week, sleeping on the floor, with no pay, rarely leaving the house, out of sight. Aged 20, Rani managed to escape and has now become a campaigner for victims of modern slavery.
Recounting Rani’s story, Bishop Redfern said that the child was enslaved and exploited simply “to make other people comfortable.”
Rev. Rachel Carnegie, Co-Executive Director of the Anglican Alliance, welcomed the forum’s steps towards greater ecumenical collaboration on ending modern slavery; the Anglican Alliance already works with the Salvation Army and with the Roman Catholic Caritas to connect and equip church leaders and activists for a holistic and effective response. In 2016, regional consultations were held in Africa and South Asia. The Alliance plans to hold similar consultations in other parts of the Communion in the coming year.
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents
RESCUE THOUSANDS. PROTECT MILLIONS. PROVE THAT JUSTICE FOR THE POOR IS POSSIBLE.
Plead for the widow
"Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right." — Psalm 106:3
Please pray for witnesses in a case of police abuse of power in Kenya, for their safety and courage to speak the truth. The police officer on trial has a reputation for violence in his community, and has gone to great lengths to cover up his own crimes by blaming innocents. We hope a successful prosecution will send a strong message that police cannot abuse their power with impunity.
Praise God for justice served in Bolivia this week, as a school teacher was found guilty of sexually abusing one of his young students. The girl was only 9 years old when the assault first happened, and IJM has been helping her impoverished family seek justice for the last two years. Today, the teacher is facing 10 years in prison. It’s been an emotional journey for all, so please continue to pray for the family’s ongoing healing and peace now that this painful chapter has closed.
Please pray for the success of an exciting new legal clinic launched by one of our teams and our government partners. This one-stop center just opened in a dense, high-risk neighborhood to help trafficking victims find legal, social, and medical help all in one place. We hope innovations like this will allow local authorities to be even more responsive to trafficking cases, and will help thousands of victims find the help they desperately need.
Pray for IJM’s teams in the Philippines as they return from their annual retreat. Praise God for an extended time of fellowship, and pray that each staff member would be refueled and ready for the year ahead knowing God is with them in the difficult battle against cybersex trafficking.
IJM HQ & Global Partners
IJM has partner offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. Please pray for a Digital Mobilization Manager to join our team at HQ. The ideal candidate will help move people to grow our network of constituents and move them to take action through giving, volunteering, advocating, and praying to advance the mission of IJM.
INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION
PROVE THAT JUSTICE FOR THE POOR IS POSSIBLE.
International Justice Mission Update
More than 45 million people are trapped in slavery today. Every day we delay sending rescue and freedom is another day they remain in the horrific cycle of violence, abuse and despair. The End Modern Slavery Initiative is an incredible opportunity to help bring an end to slavery in our world, and we must make sure it has the resources it needs to deliver the vital help it promises to the poor, enslaved and oppressed.
We’re grateful for the thousands of you who signed the End Modern Slavery Initiative petition and created the political will to make it a reality over the past two years. Because you took action, the EMSI exists today.
But now we need your help again. In December 2016, legislation passed that authorized new U.S. spending to combat slavery. This means Congress is allowed to spend up to a certain amount, but it does not mean that they will. The U.S. budget process now requires that each year congress appropriates the money they are allowed to spend. Many authorization bills get passed that do not get funded. So this year, we need to tell our new president and members of Congress that ending slavery is important to us as Americans, and urge them to fully fund this new initiative.
We need your voice. Freedom for millions is on the line.
By using your voice and signing this new petition telling your elected officials to support the EMSI, you are bringing a world without slavery one step closer to reality. Put your name on the line and tell your elected officials to fund the End Modern Slavery Initiative.
The Cybersex Trafficking of Children
In our world, it is difficult to find any crime more repulsive than the sexual abuse of children. However, there is a new and brutal form of modern-day slavery: THE CYBERSEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN.
In this horrific form of slavery, pedophiles and predators are able to search online and pay to sexually abuse children as young as two years old from anywhere in the world.
Children just like Cassie:
Cassie is a brave girl living in the Philippines. But for nearly five years, she was repeatedly abused and raped for an online audience.
From all appearances, Cassie’s trafficker took good care of her. She was enrolled in a great school, she wore new clothes, and had a notebook and backpack for the first time in her life.
Behind the walls of her house, though, she was trapped, alone and being abused.
Cassie is just one of an untold number of children being abused online around the world. In the Philippines alone, authorities receive thousands of cybersex trafficking referrals a month. IJM is working closely with the Philippine government on long-term solutions to this great challenge.
Cassie’s trafficker successfully hid his crimes from unwanted eyes for many years. During the time Cassie was held by her captor, he preyed on the children of family friends, and his nauseating reach eventually extended to a 5-year-old boy and a girl less than a year old.
Cassie came home from school on a Friday, knowing that the weekend ahead of her held untold terror. That night, Cassie woke up to loud noises. Police were there to rescue her from the home where she had suffered for nearly five years.
“I was very scared. I was crying,” Cassie recalls. An IJM social worker was there that night, and she told Cassie that she and the other children were not in trouble. They were being rescued. They were finally safe.
Read more about Cassie, the work IJM is doing, and how you can help at http://www.ijm.org/cassies-story