Fundraiser for Human Trafficking Movie

This is brilliant.

I’ve seen movies about human trafficking, but they’re for American audiences. This movie is for southeast Asia. It’s being filmed on location by locals, and will be dubbed into regional languages and shown to raise awareness there.

Part of the reason human trafficking thrives in southeast Asia is due to lack of information. The same ploys to trap people are used because they aren’t exposed to the problem. This seems to me to be a great way to prevent trafficking before it happens.

YWAM Thailand is a great organization. I’ve had first-hand experience with them, and can vouch that the leadership is above reproach. Check out their GoFundMe campaign and do what you can to get involved.

Slavery At The World Cup

I’m sick.

I’ve caught the fever. Well, you won’t notice with a thermometer. But I have come down with World Cup fever.

As an American soccer fan, it doesn’t generate as much excitement here as other places. But when I was in Germany in 2006 when they hosted the Cup, it was incredible.

Super Bowl? World Series?

Nothing.

Not compared to the World Cup played in a soccer mad country like Germany then or Brazil starting today as they host the 2014 Cup.

But as excited as I am to see some amazing soccer, I’m also saddened. Because I know with all the spectators and chaos, there’s going to be something going on in the shadows.

Events like the World Cup are prime times for sexual abuse and child prostitution/sex trafficking.

Numbers are hard to come by since it is conducted in the dark places, but it is well-known phenomena at large events like this for an increase in human trafficking, forcing people into prostitution against their will.

Thankfully there is much more awareness about this issue all the time. According to Free the Slaves, Brazil has an innovative program to help stop forms of human slavery.

There has also been a major campaign to educate visitors that it is illegal to pay to have sex with anyone 17 and under in Brazil. It’s A Penalty has used media all over Brazil, and their videos have even been shown on flights to Brazil.

So what can we do at home to make a difference against human trafficking during the World Cup?

First of all, if you’re watching a game, take a moment to pray for the vulnerable street children and others who could be prey to a trafficker. Let’s enjoy the football but be mindful to intercede for those who could be in harm’s way.

If you want to be more educated about this or support a group fighting human slavery and child exploitation, check out my Twitter list of organizations and people involved in the fight.

Here’s to an exciting and safe World Cup for all the people of Brazil!

End It Movement

Today, February 27th, is being used as a day to highlight the scourge of modern day slavery.

Why the 27th?


For starters, best estimates of the number of slaves right now is 27 million.

That is 27 million people that don’t have the freedom to come and go as they please. People that live under fear and coercion, who suffer violence or the threat of violence daily.

They may be child sex slaves in southeast Asia or eastern Europe. It might be a family stuck in bonded labor in India, trapped on a brick kiln. It could even be an immigrant held against their will in the United States.

I’ve long advocated for the fight against modern slavery. It breaks my heart to know that their are people caught in such a horrible web. It hides in the dark, so it takes a lot of people shining the light to help expose it.

Please take a moment today to educate yourself a little on this issue. In my sidebar on the right I have listed several organizations that work in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.

Twitter is a great place to find organizations that fight this. Some that I know about are:
@IJM – International Justice Mission
@EndItMovement
@NFS – Not For Sale
@SavingInnocents
@AgapeIntMission – Agape International Missions
@TraffickingEnd
@TheSoldProject
@TheA21Campaign
@ECPAT – ECPAT International
@F2W – Free2Work
@SomalyMam
@Polaris_Project
@Love146
@FreeTheSlaves
@GEMSGirls
@CNNFreedom – CNN Freedom Project

There are others out there. It only takes a minute to look one up and find out what you can do in daily life to make a difference. If nothing else, put a red “X” on your hand today. When people ask you what it means, tell them you’re shining a light on modern slavery.

Most of all, pray for the victims. Pray for those on the front lines of the fight. Pray for justice from the God of justice.

We can make a difference!

Let’s do it.
—-

The Locust Effect

What are you reading?

My goal for 2014 is to read more non-fiction. I read fiction all the time to study the craft, support friends, and review Christian speculative fiction. I want to balance it out more this year.

My latest book I’m reading is The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros.

Imagine living in a world where if something horrible happens to you or a loved one, such as an assault, rape, or other injustice, you have no place to turn for redress. No one to stand up for justice.

That happens too often in the world, and that is the subject of The Locust Effect. Their premise is that without effective justice in the form of appropriate and honest law enforcement and judicial system, the issues of global poverty, human trafficking, and violence will never see resolution.

This Thursday, February 27th, is a day to focus on the scourge of modern slavery. I will be posting in support of his initiative, and if you are interested in the fight against injustice and modern slavery, I believe The Locust Effect will be a key factor in the future battle.

I’ll post more when I’m finished. If you want to know more, go to the Locust Effect website.

CSFF Tour – Angel Eyes Day 3

Today’s our wrap-up day for the excellent supernatural debut of Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore.

I introduced the book on Monday and Tuesday did a quasi-review while doing a compare/contrast with the Twilight books to which Shannon’s book has been compared. I planned to do my review today, but I jumped the gun yesterday.

So I’m going to do something I’m usually loathe to do.

Angel Eyes is about the teen Brielle learning about a wider world and her special gift that is both a blessing and something that makes her a target. However, there is a sub-plot in the book that touches on an issue near to my heart. I don’t like to give spoilers, but here is a minor one: Brielle and Jake stumble upon a human trafficking ring.

The tragedy of human trafficking is coming up more often than ever in fiction. I am very glad for this, since it is such a horror and needs to be defeated. In my own work in progress it is an integral part of the story. I wish I would have finished it sooner, but I’ll get there someday. Whereas my story is set in Southeast Asia, Shannon keeps hers in the Pacific Northwest.

Guess what? Human trafficking exists all over. It is in the States, not just an overseas problem.

If a story can bring awareness to a terrible crime like human trafficking and still be entertaining, it is a powerful tool. Shannon’s done that here, and I’m very appreciative of her book. Not just because of the enjoyment factor, which I definitely enjoyed it, but because the more light that is shown on the darkness of modern-day slavery, the more it will retreat.

There are many fine organizations who are doing specific things to battle human trafficking, some that I’ve linked to in the sidebar to the right. Shannon offers up Chabdai at the end of Angel Wings, so I’ll point you there as well for more information. Please take a few minutes to become informed about this if you haven’t already.

Shannon has won a major fan here. I’ll be excited to read her next book, Broken Wings, which comes out next month. My preferred genre isn’t YA romance (even with the supernatural twist) and I’m focusing on reading suspense nowadays for my own writing, but I’ll make an exception here.

That’s all I have for this fine book and interesting tour. As always, Becky Miller keeps tabs of all of the participants on her blog. Check them out.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest opinion. So there.

Justice Awareness

Computer problems are not conducive to blogging.

With that out of the way, I wanted to quickly point out a couple of resources for people interested in justice issues and fighting things like human trafficking.

Half The Sky is a two part documentary on the plight of women worldwide, as there are so many instances of oppression on women throughout the world. The documentary shows things like rescuing girls from brothels, providing learning opportunities, and exposing the issues that affect so many women in the world. It is airing on PBS tonight and tomorrow night. It looks to be a powerful way to show the needs of fighting for women without rights or opportunity. Like the title implies, half of the population is treated less than human and is discriminated against in too many ways, especially in the Two-Thirds World.

Next week is the launch of the book The Just Church written by Jim Martin of International Justice Mission. I’m reading it to help promote the launch and it is challenging so far. I’m planning to have a review of it next week.

Two quick items to let people know about. These are major things in the world today. I believe they are very close to God’s heart, even if Half The Sky is a “secular” production.

Fighting Sex Tourism On Amazon

The e-publishing revolution is allow a lot of people to get their words out there. Unfortunately, there are some people who say awful things and shouldn’t have such a platform.

Through Love146 I found out about a book on Amazon available via Kindle that talks about the “age of consent” in countries around the world. This disgusting work even has a chapter that specifies the *lowest* ages, and mentions one country that has no consent age for sex!

These are children who are being sexually exploited, pure and simple. There is no romantic consent going on here. This book is being used by pedophiles and abusers in the Third World.

I’m not going to name the book to give it more publicity or search engine fuel. However, I am going to ask you to take a minute and go to the Love146 Task Force page and do one of the steps listed, at least, to help ask Amazon and Jeff Bezos to take this horrible thing out of their store.

According to a letter you can print out and send to Mr. Bezos, this type of campaign has worked before. Please help to fight the scourge of child sex trafficking. I know we are asked on the web to do things all the time, but this only takes a minute, and will help cut down on the demand for such terrible crimes.

Jesus said that if you do such things for the least of these, you’re doing it for Him.

Thanks and peace be with you.

Do You Believe?

  • Men trapped on fishing boats forced to work, by not being allowed to go on shore.
  • Whole families conscripted into working for brick-making plants in India due to a past debt.
  • Women used to due hair extensions in Western beauty parlors.
  • A children’s choir from Africa touring a rich country to accolades, only to find the performers are paid next to nothing.
  • Young girls tricked into prostitution by the false promise of good jobs in Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia or in the United States.

Last week I posted the video of the song 27 Million, sung by Matt Redman and LZ7 to bring awareness to all of the people worldwide in slave conditions. The idea is that there are 27 million people in slavery around the globe RIGHT NOW.

All of the above scenarios are part of modern day slavery and human trafficking. It happens in rich and poor countries, in the West, East, North, and South. Some critics say abolition groups focus on sexual aspects of trafficking. It just happens to be very common, but there are many variations of slavery altogether.

Is it unreasonable to think we can change this?

If African slavery was ended in Europe and the United States, why can’t it happen now?

If a committed group continues to cry for justice, will the cry be heard?

I believe in a God of power and justice, so yes, I believe it will be heard. I believe it can happen.

Don’t forget. Read and get educated.

There will be more…

Do You Believe?

  • Men trapped on fishing boats forced to work, by not being allowed to go on shore.
  • Whole families conscripted into working for brick-making plants in India due to a past debt.
  • Women used to due hair extensions in Western beauty parlors.
  • A children’s choir from Africa touring a rich country to accolades, only to find the performers are paid next to nothing.
  • Young girls tricked into prostitution by the false promise of good jobs in Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia or in the United States.

Last week I posted the video of the song 27 Million, sung by Matt Redman and LZ7 to bring awareness to all of the people worldwide in slave conditions. The idea is that there are 27 million people in slavery around the globe RIGHT NOW.

All of the above scenarios are part of modern day slavery and human trafficking. It happens in rich and poor countries, in the West, East, North, and South. Some critics say abolition groups focus on sexual aspects of trafficking. It just happens to be very common, but there are many variations of slavery altogether.

Is it unreasonable to think we can change this?

If African slavery was ended in Europe and the United States, why can’t it happen now?

If a committed group continues to cry for justice, will the cry be heard?

I believe in a God of power and justice, so yes, I believe it will be heard. I believe it can happen.

Don’t forget. Read and get educated.

There will be more…