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What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a type of modern slavery and one of the most difficult conundrums to tackle in our time. It is a complex issue which is mostly confused with human smuggling and irregular migration. Whichever way we look at it, human trafficking is an abuse of the fundamental human rights of people and robs them of their dignity and freedom. It is organised, egregious and the fastest growing crime in the world.

Human trafficking is the exploitation of vulnerability where traffickers recruit, transport, or harbour their victims. Traffickers use force, coercion, deceit, threats, drugs or even debt bondage to enslave their victims. Their victims are then exploited for sex, forced labour or even for organs.

In summary, human trafficking has three elements: The Act (what is done), The Means (how it is done) and The Purpose (why it is done).

Theologically the church can respond through being aware of this modern slavery and embodying the responsibility to welcome strangers (migrants), visiting those who are in this prison of human trafficking and providing crisis intervention such as clothing, shelter, medical aid, spiritual support and safe spaces. 

Matthew 25:44-45
Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’