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human slavery

Human Slavery Spotlight to Increase Awareness and Stop Sex Trafficking

Trafficking is modern human slavery. One person, or group of people, holds someone captive and exploits them for profit. While much of the trafficking industry in the United States focuses on sex trafficking, there are multiple forms of modern slavery.

January is human trafficking awareness month and people throughout the world need to open their eyes to the problem. Once enslaved, fewer than 1% are ever rescued, but organizations like A21 work around the world to change that.

Astounding Statistics

Internationally, slavery is a $150 billion industry. According to the U.S. State Department, over 24.9 million people are victims of some sort of slavery internationally. Over 325,000 youth in the U.S. are at risk of exploitation with runaways, homeless youth, and youth in the foster care system at the highest risks of exploitation.

Modern Human Slavery

The people who enslave others use multiple means to access vulnerable people and then exploit them for profit in multiple ways.

Types of slavery include:

  • sex trafficking
  • forced labor
  • bonded labor
  • involuntary domestic servitudehuman slavery
  • child soldiers

Traffickers have clever ways of ensnaring people. The top methods include:

  • false job ads
  • false immigration opportunities
  • abduction
  • sold by friends or family (A21).



Vulnerable Targets

Although we may deny that there are children and people at risk of enslavement in our communities, the truth is that it does. Anne Reed from the American Family Association discusses what makes children vulnerable to exploitation. The most significant factor?

The breakdown of the family.

Sex trafficking and human trafficking is big business and the causes of it begin at home. In the U.S., the primary targets for traffickers are children in the foster care system. Children enter the foster care system for a variety of reasons. The ones we can do something about include the decline in marriage and the attack on family values. Broken homes create broken kids who run away in search of belonging. Unfortunately, they are easy prey for traffickers.

Blind Eyes Opened is a Christian documentary that shares the truth about sex trafficking in the United States. It describes how current systems enable it, how pornography creates a demand for it, and how ignorance and denial allow it to continue.

Blind Eyes Opened – Official Trailer

Signs of Slavery

A21 Ministries provides an extensive description of the clues that may indicate someone is enslaved:

  • Controlled by someone
  • Controlled movements
  • No money for themselves
  • Can’t speak the language
  • Indications of physical abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Fearful and distrustful, overly submissive
  • No personal possessions
  • Poor health and nutrition
  • No identification



  • Strengthen marriages and families to prevent fewer children from entering the foster care system.
  • Mentor children so they have trusted adults to turn to instead of seeing running away as the only option.
  • As A21 suggests, reduce vulnerability by engaging people in the community.
  • Rescue those you suspect by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 or the numbers for other countries as listed on A21. 
  • Support ministries like A21, and increase awareness by sharing The Blind Eyes Opened film.


Trudi Griffin, MS, LPC, is a former therapist who uses clinical experience, faith, and extensive research in her writing which can be found on Medium. She is the content editor for Counter Culture Mom and editor for the Christian blog Koinonia. In her spare time, she reads, studies, sews, games, and loves spending time with God and her husband. 

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