"The Human Trafficking team of the West Ohio Annual Conference of the UMC is to serve as a resource to local congregations and districts, provide education and mobilize people to take action to end human trafficking."
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor: a modern-day form of slavery. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, and tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest, after the drug-trade. Today, an estimated 27 million people around the world are living in slavery, more than at any time during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. And human trafficking doesn't just happen overseas; it happens right here in the United States as well.
*NEW: Watch this video about the epidemic of labor trafficking now affecting cities, towns, and rural communities across the United States.
Why should the Church get involved?
|End Demand Bill Enacted!|
|The End Demand Act was signed into law in Ohio in June of 2014, increasing the penalty for purchasing sex from a minor from a misdemeanor to a felony.|
God has a heart for justice, and so must we.
Consider these scripture verses:
You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror. - Psalm 10:17-18
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. - Luke 4:18-19
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. - Isaiah 1:17
What can your Church do?
- Set aside the second Sunday in January as 'Human Trafficking Awareness Day!'
- Human Trafficking Awareness Day Bulletin Insert (Color) (B&W)
- Encourage local congregations to declare themselves communities that support abolishing modern-day human trafficking in all forms
- Engage congregations in education regarding human trafficking and urge clergy to preach on human trafficking
- Contact local schools regarding education about human trafficking
- Network with local ministerial associations, centers for family violence prevention, community service agencies, schools, law enforcement agencies and other local entities to educate, prevent, and provide safety for victims of human trafficking
- Advocate for adequate laws in Ohio to protect victims of human trafficking and prosecute perpetrators of human trafficking
What can YOU do?
LEARN more about Human Trafficking! (Click here for a list of informative websites.)
PRAY for the millions of men, women, and children living in slavery, and for the organizations and individuals fighting to free them. Pray also for the perpetrators of human trafficking, that God would heal their brokenness. (Click here for a prayer guide.)
ACT - Educate your friends, families, and congregations! Join an already-established local, national, or international organization in the fight against modern-day slavery! Or, advocate with your local representatives for the rights of Human Trafficking victims!
For more information, contact Dee Stickley-Miner at dstickley [at] wocumc.org or call 614-844-6200.
Resources from Oct 29 2014 Inter-Faith Event
“What’s Faith Got to do With It?” - Presentation by Dr. David Watson, October 29, 2014, University of Dayton Rive Campus: “Faith, Awareness and Action: Conference on Human Trafficking & Domestic Violence”. Dr. David Watson provides insight into Christian texts and how they help or hinder our work on human trafficking around the globe. Dr. David Watson is the Academic Dean at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH.
“Introduction to Human Trafficking and Modern Abolition” – A presentation explaining the current realities of human trafficking and how we can address it. Presented by Tony Talbott at the “Faith, Awareness and Action: Conference on Human Trafficking & Domestic Violence”, October 29, 2014 at the University of Dayton. Tony is a professor of political and human rights at the University of Dayton and founding member of Abolition Ohio.
“Human Trafficking in the State of Ohio” – a presentation by Ohio Representative Teresa Fedor, the leading advocate in the Ohio Legislature on human trafficking legislation.
“Engaging Men to Prevent Gender Based Violence” – a presentation by Rus Funk, Director of MensWork, a project of the Center for Women and Families based in Louisville, KY. MensWork focuses on engaging and empowering men and boys to prevent all forms of gender based violence which includes combatting sexual exploitation.
Biographies of Resource Persons in the State of Ohio and others who address human trafficking and/or domestic violence. (These persons were presenters at the October 29, 2014 interfaith conference on human trafficking and domestic violence in Dayton, OH)
Interfaith Resources and Websites - A compilation of organizations, website and official statements of faith and secular organizations addressing human trafficking and domestic violence.