"It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name: modern slavery." –Barack Obama
Modern slavery. That is how our former president accurately depicted human trafficking. An awareness of human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, has risen over the years to the point that our presidents are beginning to call it what it is: an outrage.
Globally, over 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold into commercial sex, forced labor, and bonded labor. Of those 20.9 million, 80% are forced into sexual slavery.
Every year, 100,000 children are forced into prostitution. Although it is incredibly hard to determine, you can only imagine how much higher it is for the number of adults forced into prostitution.
Based on those statistics, surely you agree that sex trafficking is an injustice.
Surely you agree that it ought to be a concern of every nation.
Maybe even agree that it ought to be the concern of every community.
But is it your concern?
What if I were to tell you that sex trafficking takes place not only in the U.S., not only in your state, but in your city, your town, and your community?
In 2016 alone, 166 cases of sex trafficking were reported in IL.
Considering that the annual percentage of trafficking and slavery cases solved is less than one percent, you can only guess how many cases of sex trafficking actually occurred in our state of IL.
Now yes, these are only statistics. And it’s often easy to distance yourself from the statistics or to become so weighed down by the statistics that you just don’t know what to do with the information.
That’s why—after we’ve heard the statistics—we need to look beyond them to the people they represent. If we can make the difference in the life of just one precious woman, then we have succeeded.
That is our goal at Catalyst. And our goal is to do this again, and again, and again until we can do it no longer.
You have probably heard it said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" (Edmund Burke).
This is true.
But it is also true that “each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and . . . those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance" (Robert Kennedy).