Pause For Thought »» http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0123wn9#p00hvphb
From Steve Chalke, founder of an international charity and a Baptist Minister.
"One of my roles in life is to work as the United Nations Special Advisor on Human Trafficking. Human trafficking – the buying and selling people – is as profitable as it is degrading. Now the world’s second largest, fastest growing and most lucrative form of crime, only the illegal sale of arms is more prosperous.
To be trafficked is to be deceived or taken against your will, sold and transported into slavery for sexual exploitation, forced labour, military service, illegal adoption, forced marriage, forced begging, even to be used for the harvesting of human organs or human sacrifice. Around 80% of all trafficked people are female. 50% are children.
The sheer scale of the problem is unimaginable. This modern slave trade affects every continent and country of the world. At least 2 million men, women and children are trafficked every year. That’s four every minute - equivalent to more than ten jumbo jets full of people every day.
The very first book of the bible – Genesis – declares that every man and every woman bears God’s image; that the whole of humankind enjoys this indelible privilege and responsibility. And, in a world still laden with oppressive hierarchy and dictatorship, which often sees ordinary people as the pawns of the powerful, it seems to me, its words are just as revolutionary today as they were when first penned.
Each case of human trafficking represents another stolen life, another tale of injustice and abuse, another bereaved parent or orphaned child.
So, what does it take to defeat criminals with an absolute disregard for human life and human dignity? I believe the answer is our willingness to stand in concert for what is right. To create a net which shames the crime and all those who support it through their action or inaction, pursues the guilty and protects the innocent.
As Martin Luther King put it, “The time is always right to do what is right.”