Today is one of the largest sporting events in the world, the Super Bowl. Over 100 million people will be watching the Super Bowl today while more than 100,000 descend on New Orleans to watch the game in person. Also today, the largest sex trafficking incident in the US will be happening. Every year at Super Bowl time 1,000’s (The 2010 Super Bowl saw an estimated 10,000 sex workers brought into Miami.) of women, and often-young girls, are brought into the town that Super Bowl is held for one reason, to be exploited for sex.
The United Nations estimates that 2.5 million people are trafficked annually. The U.S. State Department estimates an even higher number: about 12.3 million adults and children “in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world.” It deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels organized crime. Victims of trafficking are forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking is one of the most profitable forms of trafficking and involves many kinds of sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, pornography, bride trafficking, and the commercial sexual abuse of children. According to the United Nations, sex trafficking brings in an estimated $32 billion a year worldwide. In the U.S., sex trafficking brings in $9.5 billion annually.
We often think that these issues are only relative to the developing world and in places like Asia, Latin America, and Africa, but it’s alarming that the US has such a significant part in this. The Department of Justice estimates that more than 250,000 American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry annually. The average age of girls who enter into street prostitution is between 12 and 14 years old.
We can hear these statistics, throw up our hands and feel overwhelmed and then just get back to those delicious Buffalo wings (Americans consume 100 million pounds of wings on Super Bowl Sunday), but I want you to use your voice and do something about this. What if it was your little girl? What if it was my little girl…MY little girl, there would be no hurdle to big, no circumstance to difficult to prevent me from doing everything I could to rescue my little girl. God’s response… these are my children, My little girl and I’m calling YOU to do something about it.
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” – Ephesians 5:11
Everyday, we see the realities of this here in Ethiopia. Here in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, it’s estimated that over 150,000 women are involved in prostitution. Some women work almost every night for as little as $.10/client and around 10 clients/night. It’s not right, and it’s what continues to gives us such a passion to see this change.
Please pray today for the women and children that are being exploited, and then find a place or organization that is involved in stopping human trafficking where you can use your voice.