Human trafficking victims are hidden behind our assumptions. Here are 5 myths that stereotype human trafficking. Debunk these by learning to recognize and respond to modern-day slavery.
Myth 1: Human trafficking doesn’t happen where I live! It happens in developing countries, far away.
Fact: Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states of the United States. It is also reported in 161 countries worldwide. Human trafficking occurs in all different types of environments--cities, small rural towns, the suburbs. Exploitation doesn’t stop at state lines.
Myth 2: The movie Taken opened my eyes to human trafficking, but now I’m petrified. Am I going to get kidnapped?
The reality of trafficking is complex. Kidnapping, though it can happen, does not happen in the majority of cases. It’s not a case of “stranger danger,” often a family member or intimate partner may be involved.
Myth 3: I don’t support human trafficking. How is this horrible business still around?
Fact: Sadly, almost all of us support human trafficking in some form. The biggest way we contribute to human trafficking is through our shopping habits. Businesses that provide us with anything from vegetables and coffee to soap and makeup may exploit people through forced labor. When we find a great deal on something, someone else is paying the higher price for us. You can invest in freedom by researching brands and businesses to ensure the products you buy do not fuel exploitation.
Myth 4: Human trafficking is just such a big problem. There’s nothing I can do to help.
Fact: Why has human trafficking grown to be the multi-billion dollar industry it is today? Because people profit off of the exploitation of the vulnerable. If you are a person who shops, sells, watches television, plays sports, or really just exists--there are ways you can fight human trafficking in your daily life.
Myth 5: My church isn’t in the “right setting” to fight human trafficking.
Fact: At Let My People Go, we believe the church is the perfect place to fight human trafficking. We understand how human trafficking and vulnerability seems like an overwhelming injustice. Churches may feel a strong calling and desire to fight against human trafficking, but knowing where to start looks impossible. That’s why our partnership network provides local churches with necessary resources to lay the foundation of your justice ministry.
We believe every justice ministry must have a Gospel motivation as its foundation. Luke 10:25-37 gives us a beautiful example of the Good Samaritan living out Christ’s command to, “love your neighbor.” By loving, including, protecting, and empowering those that traffickers target for exploitation, we fight human trafficking and break a dangerous cycle of modern-day slavery.