Many of us have become familiar with the injustice of human trafficking and sexual slavery over the last several years. We are grateful for the initiatives and organizations all over the world who have worked hard to rescue victims and raise awareness to campaign against this wicked enterprise.
Human trafficking is an international endemic requiring an international alliance around an international solution.
Yet every effort is an unequivocally local initiative, and trafficking in every location looks a little different from any other. Teams and counter-trafficking initiatives must distill and define their strategy to effectively serve within unique ground contexts.
"Human trafficking is a global phenomenon to which no country is immune. Victims of modern slavery are exploited in every region of the world, compelled into service for labor or commercial sex in the real world of industry and on the pages of the internet. The enormity of the problem necessitates the development of a unified, comprehensive response from world leaders to collectively address a crime that defies all borders."
FAI RELIEF OPERATES IN LOCATIONS DETERMINED BY THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO BE WORST-CASE TRAFFICKING SCENARIOS.
The US Department of State rates nations and territories on a scale of 1-3; in a "1" area, advocates and abolitionists can appeal to laws and governments to counter the trafficking of persons; in a "2" area, laws are in place to prohibit trafficking, though little is done to enforce them. In a "3"-scaled area, however, there are no laws limiting the sale and trafficking of persons, and no one to appeal to for legal help. Moreover, law enforcement and government officials are complicit in the trade, empowering those facilitating this kind of wickedness—meaning trafficking in these areas cannot get worse.
SANCTIONED & SANCTIFIED
In 2016, FAI RELIEF quietly launched a ground team in the Mediterranean Basin to begin building a counter-trafficking strategy fit for unique dynamics surrounding an international tourist destination in the Muslim world. Beginning with a grassroots awareness campaign, we partner with like-minded locals to rescue and rehabilitate victims of trafficking.
Two conditions are the soil and seedbed creating the "worst-case scenario" as defined by the US State Department:
Because law enforcement and government officials are willfully complicit and share in trafficking profits and processes, nothing stands to successfully oppose the sale and trade of human persons for sexual or labor slavery.
RELIGIOUSLY & CULTURALLY SANCTIFIED
It is tragically too common to find popular destinations for sexual tourism fuelled by human trafficking the world over. It is unique, though (and perhaps unexpected) to find sexual slavery so pervasive throughout the Muslim world—yet we must reckon with the Qu’ranic worldview and Mohammedan philosophies shaped by chauvinism and misogyny since the inception of Islam.
WHEN THE EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN IS RELIGIOUSLY SANCTIFIED, CULTURAL LUST IS EMBOLDENED AND EMPOWERED.
We believe the Judeo-Christian Scriptures attest to the equality of both male and female representations of the Holy Image (Genesis 1:26-31), and unequivocally condemns the exploitation of any persons for trade, trafficking, or sexual industry (Joel 3:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:6; Revelation 18:13).
We believe ultimate freedom is found in the Name of Jesus (Romans 10:13; Galatians 5:1), and pursue abolition and advocacy governed by a witness of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Trafficking thrives in darkness—in ignorance and lack of awareness, behind closed doors of sin-saturated clubs, and in minds “darkened by a lack of understanding” (Ephesians 4:18) who Jesus is and what He will do about injustice.
Through advocacy, rescue, and restoration, the Body of Jesus fighting on behalf of trafficking victims can turn on the lights.