Save Children

In the nineteenth century, slavery was a giant industry, powering trans Atlantic trade and supplying an entire, low cost work force for American plantations. Many are surprised to learn that there are more slaves in the world today than in the days when it was legal. The slave trade has become a massive, worldwide industry, technologically sophisticated, highly secretive, and deeply underground. The slave industry victimizes no greater demographic than children, who are often kidnapped or deceived into a life of bondage. And most of the time, they are forced to become sex slaves.

Conservative estimates place the number of slaves in the world at twenty-six million. Some estimates, however, say that there are as many as two hundred million. It is believed that around eighty percent are sex slaves. Some girls are raped by as many as forty men every day.

This abrupt rise in slavery is generally attributed to a number of factors. The first is globalization, which means that human beings can be actively traded on an open market. A rise in poverty is the second factor. Poverty increases the vulnerability of the victims. Often poverty is encouraged by the traffickers. Many of these traffickers are part of the third factor: a rise in organized crime. Trafficking is organized crime's second most profitable industry. Government corruption is the fourth factor. Finally, an increased demand for sex in the mainstream has created a generation of men who are demanding that their fantasies be met. A huge part of the sex trade industry is what's known as "sex tourism," in which a rich man can travel to another country and hire the services of a child slave for a very low cost.

It is essential, therefore, that the Church rise up to bring about justice in this area. Through prayer, financial support, and tireless activism, the Christian Church is the only agency in the world with the posture to fight human trafficking and the spiritual strongholds associated with it. It is mentioned in the book of Revelation, chapter eighteen, that bodies and souls of men will be traded in the last days, but that does not mean Christians cannot rise to free children now.