I will be the first to admit that I love shopping. I do. I do more online shopping these days because of illness but I still love it. Whenever I need to think and process, one of my favorite things to do is to go shopping by myself (even it it is just window shopping). I got it honest from my mom. If she is in town, there is a pretty good chance we are going to end up at the outlet mall nearby.
Speaking of the outlet mall, what I love even more than shopping is finding a good deal! There is just something exhilarating scoring a bargain!
The problem is that up until recently I did not take the time to consider how I am getting that super-awesome cheap price.
My husband is one of the youth pastors that helps organize a winter youth conference called Winterspree. They always have a mission focus for each conference and for the last two years, they have chosen to highlight human trafficking. I think so many times we (myself included) believe that this is something that happens in other places, in other countries, but the truth is that it is happening here, in our country, in our own backyards. Another misconception is that human trafficking is the same as sex trafficking. While sexual exploitation is a big part of the trafficking problem, it involves so much more including economic exploitation (such as being forced to work for little to no wages and being subjected to violence).
These are some statistics from Un.Gift – A Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking:
- An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labour (including sexual exploitation) at any given time as a result of trafficking.
- People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries, affecting every continent and every type of economy
- The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age .
- An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year .
- 95% of victims experienced physical or sexual violence during trafficking (based on data from selected European countries)
- Estimated global annual profits made from the exploitation of all trafficked forced labour are US$ 31.6 billion and 49% of that profit is generated in industrialized economies
- In 2006 there were only 5,808 prosecutions and 3,160 convictions throughout the world. This means that for every 800 people trafficked, only one person was convicted in 2006.
Have you picked your jaw up off the floor yet? A profit of 31.6 BILLION.
You see many of those deals come at a price. The price of human dignity and justice.
And that makes me angry.
It makes me hurt.
It makes me ashamed.
I can only imagine what it does to God’s heart as He sees how we treat one another.
As a believer and as a human, I cannot stand for this. I cannot stand behind the shroud of ignorance and pretend that it is not going on or that I cannot do anything about it.
It is time to make some changes. Beginning with the way I shop. Saving a few dollars is not worth it when I know the costs.
Will you stand with me?
Next week, fellow blogger Emily from Scribbles From Emily will be sharing on how we can change the world through fashion!
Some recommended resources: