What YOU can do…

It is not enough to be compassionate; you must act.
~the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Cyatso, 1992

Kaign Christy is a director for International Justice Mission, an organization focused on helping victims and aiding governments to bolster their public justice systems. He was a middle-aged attorney practicing law in Arizona when on a trip to Uganda he first become aware of the issue of modern-day slavery. He wanted to help, but couldn’t see how. He was inspired by this story from Exodus:

Moses is confronted by the burning bush and informed that he is being drafted to liberate his people from bondage. He tries to decline, arguing that he is wholly inadequate to the task. He commands no army to confront the oppressor. He cannot speak well. No one will even believe him. He is a poor shepherd, 80 years old and infirm. In response, Moses is asked: “What is in your hand?”  Moses is holding only his staff, the simple tool of his trade upon which he literally relies for support. Of course as this quintessential story of liberation unfolds, this very staff is used repeatedly to perform miracles and wonders, including the dramatic parting of the Red Sea, as Moses leads his people to freedom.

Kaign Christy had a law book in his hand. Today IJM is engaged in worldwide operations to help free slaves and prosecute traffickers. He was inspired to find a way to use what was in his hand.

None of us is completely empty handed, not even the least among us. Some people have expertise, wealth, or influence. Others have time, talent, or the power to persuade. Most of us hold more modest gifts: a warm smile, a strong spirit, or simply the capacity to care.

What is in YOUR hand? Do you hold that most essential quality, a willingness to help?

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Elected officials respond to the concerns voiced by voters. SPEAK OUT!

Corporations respond to choices made by consumers. SPEND WISELY!

In all cases YOU are the center, the focus, and the pivotal element. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Become informed. This is the critical first step. Most people do not even know this terrible problem exists! Let this website be a jumping off point. Look at others, follow links, do more research on areas that interest you. There are many good books on the subject. Some are reviewed on our meetup site: BOOK REVIEWS
  • Consume ethically. Support the Fair Trade movement. Look at labels. Learn about product categories that have issues with elements in their supply chain. Shop with a conscience seeking the highest level of assurance available that your dollars are not supporting slavery.
  • Join a group. There are many groups that focus on different aspects of this issue, and some like ours that undertake a broad approach. Many are faith based while others are not. Find a group that suits you and add your voice.
  • Spread the word. Share your knowledge. Talk with family, friends, and coworkers about what you have learned. Get others involved.
  • Learn to recognize and report possible incidents of human trafficking. The rescue of many victims has begun with a report from an alert concerned citizen. The 24 hour hotline for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center is 1.888.3737.888
  • Volunteer/Intern. More than just a member, you can work full or part time for some of the larger abolitionist organizations.
  • Start a group! If there is not a group in your area, consider starting one. Computers and desktop publishing make this much easier today. Meetup.com is one excellent way to start a new group on a shoe string and have a lot of support for promotion and communication. Many people have started groups, clubs, or committees in their place of worship, in their school, or through their professional organization or union.
  • Contribute money. In these difficult economic times even well established organizations are facing funding challenges. If you are in a position to make a charitable contribution, it would be hard to imagine a more worthy cause, in the realm of social justice, than liberating people from slavery.
  • Fundraise/Friend-raise. Help grow the movement by reaching out to your network of family, friends, and business associates. If they are unable at present to contribute  time or money, at least get them signed up to your group’s email list so they stay in the loop and get notifications about events and future opportunities.
  • Become an activist. Write letters to editors, to your elected representatives, to companies and corporations. Sign petitions. Start petitions! Make phone calls, send emails, blog about it, twitter about it. Organize a screening. Partner with existing groups. Create an abolitionist network. Brainstorm and barnstorm. There is no end to the creative ways inspired people may find to get the message out.

This movement needs all the help and all the talent it can muster. We need speakers and writers, doers and dreamers. We need wit and reason, passion and caring. People wise in the ways of politics. People with business savvy. People with organizing skills. We need artists and singers, poets and preachers. We need everyone who cares, all the men, women, and children who are willing to work to end slavery in our generation. We need YOU!

Resources:
13 Activist Projects for Small Groups for Eradicating Sex Trafficking in Your Home Town,  Women’s Justice Center

20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking, U.S. Department of State

Five Things You Can Do to Fight Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Huffington Post, Impact, 1/24/14

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To join us in action and discussion, please visit
Meetup.com/Fight-Slavery-Now

TO REPORT AN INSTANCE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, DIAL 1-888-3737-888
OR CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT/DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE!


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