Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6: 19,20
I never thought much about Human Trafficking until I heard some of my friends telling me about it. There came a time when we had to think about sending my sister to Bangalore or Chennai to search for a job. For some reasons my parents hesitated to send her to the big cities. I argued with them, saying that she needs to go out to explore the world. Keep in mind that I am not there to help her, by having her stay with me. However, my argument with my parents ended when I heard my roommates talking about some incidents happened in Chennai, India recently. I have listed three of these incidents below.
1. Three young girls were staying in a ladies hostel. They looked professional and interacted with others nicely. No one had a clue that they were prostitutes until they were arrested by the Police.
2. A young woman, who is from a village, moved to Chennai to start her career. She fell under the influence of a rich friend, who also stayed in the same hostel. She started going out with this friend and ended up a lot of time with some wealthy people. Things went well, until she found out that she, herself, had posed for some dirty pictures/videos without her knowledge. She was threatened by her own friend’s friends and was asked to do certain things which she never wanted to do in her life. Eventually, the burden became too much for her to bear, she told her father about all these and he filed a complaint against them.
3. A girl found a guy in a social network. She never knew him before. But they both continued chatting whenever they could. The girl thought she had fallen in love with him and sent many of her pictures to him with all kinds of outfits; but the guy never sent his picture to her. One day they planned to meet. This girl was shocked to the core when she saw an old man instead of a young guy. With all the pictures she had sent him he started blackmailing her.
When I think of these, I really thank God, for He has kept me and my friends safe so far. Let me explain to non-Indians about South Indian tradition and culture here as they may not know about it. This post is about the ladies’ perception of human trafficking. This may apply to gents too. If you’re a guy, don’t stop here. Move on, it is also for you and you may help your friends by passing this.
In ancient days in India, women were not allowed to study and were kept at home, and were made to marry someone they didn’t even see until their wedding. There was no outside exposure, or it was very minimal.
A few decades ago, the attitude of the people started changing a little, and some allowed their girls to go to school. Some even allowed their daughters to work. Yet the outside exposure was still limited, as they worked close to their own house. Most marriages were arranged marriages and the daughters had to obey to their parent’s decisions.
A few years ago, women started competing with men in all fields. As IT influenced everyone, parents were willing to send their daughters to any metro city like Chennai or Bangalore, which are known for job opportunities. This gave them access to the outside world with exposure to several cultures and backgrounds, as people from all over India move there. When I lived in Chennai, I had good friends with me. We never went out with unknown girls/guys. My friends were all responsible and, as a result, we never faced any major issues.
I’m not sure what changed in recent years. Everything looks upside down. Young women, who once were afraid of young men, now have to stay away from older men as well. Young women who once had to protect themselves from guys, now voluntarily fall into the trap. But it doesn’t stop there. Now, young women can also suffer from the relationships they keep with other young women. If we develop relationships with women who are willing to do anything for wealth and pleasure, it can lead us from purity into serious sin. Some girls even get addicted to immoral incestuous relationships with their own family or close relatives. A young woman who has moved out of her parent’s home, and who thinks that everything around her is good, is very ignorant or innocent.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings mainly for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Other purposes can be extraction of organs.
Now let us analyze on the source of these issues.
1. Prostitution: Everyone knows about it. I need not explain it. But I would like to quote one thing here. ‘A Canadian Report on Prostitution concluded that girls and women in prostitution have a mortality rate 40 times higher than the national average’. Then what leads them into this profession? About 72% of them are homeless. It can be due to irresponsible husbands and the need to provide for their children. About 92% of them say that they wanted to escape from this immediately. Dear men and women, think what your lusts and the evil desires to fulfill your flesh lead to. In Matthew 5:28 the Bible clearly says that looking at a woman with lust itself is adultery.
2. Discontent: You may have heard the term, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” But this simply isn’t always true. We tend to want something more when we are not content with what we already have. Issues between husbands and wives, lack of trust in each other may result in extra marital affairs, which is another type of human trafficking. When someone deliberately enters into an affair, it’s not just themselves that is affected. It destroys them, along with their careers, and, more importantly, their families. Listen to what the Bible tells us: to be content with what we have. Hebrews 13:5
3. Pornography: Now anything is one click away. The Internet and magazines can be used for good or bad. They reach everyone’s bedroom now-a-days. They are seen even in the hands of little children of age 2+. With that said, pornography is a 96 billion dollar per year industry. Why is it that the pornography industry is growing so rapidly? The culprit here is the demand. Yes, the demand! Nobody runs a business if the demand is not high. If people would stop consuming pornography, it would go away. And yet, the pornography industry is a huge consumer of human trafficking. Many of the “performers” in that industry have been sold into a life of slavery. Before you click something, answer these questions. Is it appreciable by your parents and elders? Would you want to watch it in front of them? Would you look at it if Jesus was standing next to you? If your answer is no, then don’t click it. The Bible tells us to run away from the temptation. Remember God watches over you day and night. He never sleeps, He never slumbers. You are accountable for all that you do. Romans 14:12 says, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."
4. Lust for wealth: Money makes the world go round. This is a common saying. However, unhealthy desires to earn money can lead people into sinful behavior, such as performing sexual acts for money, or even stealing and selling human organs. Remember a single sexually transmitted disease is enough to take away everything from you. Don’t play with the lives of innocent people in your desires for wealth. The Bible says ‘Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked’ in Psalm 37 : 16
5. Innocence: Most youngsters don’t know how to differentiate between a good touch and a bad touch. Parents, you have more experience than them, so please teach them about the bad touches. Young adults need to be wise as serpents. (Matthew 10:16) An unhealthy friendship, or even an unhealthy relationship with a family member or close relative, can lead to disaster. This is the time for friends and family members to shine. Even when you realize that something is not right, then just Speak up! Raise your voice! Don’t be afraid. Speak to your parents, even if you are a young adult. Parents should have a close, loving relationship with their children so they don’t have any issues in sharing their personal stories with them. Sow the right seeds in your child’s heart.
6. Fear of Rejection: Learn to say no to the things that strictly deserve ‘No’. Don’t try to prove your love by obeying disrespectful calls. Don’t be intimidated into doing things that you know are wrong. If you aren’t sure, don’t do it. Anyone that truly loves you, will respect your sincerity in keeping yourself pure and will love you more.
7. Advanced usage of technology: Morphing is becoming very popular in some cultures these days. Morphing involves the technique of taking someone’s picture and morphing it into a pornographic picture, either with, or without, the person’s knowledge. Needless to say, this can do serious damage to a person’s reputation and relationships. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Can you even imagine what you do to others can actually be done to your own sister? Stop taking technology for granted. It’s a God given blessing & should be used for His glory.
8. Lack of fear of God: This is the main root cause of everything listed above. The movie industry would have us believe that all good people go to heaven. In fact, Satan would have us believe that heaven and hell do not exist. But we know otherwise. And, if you think that the salvation which you received long ago is a fireproof card to escape from hell, then please be reminded about the judgment day which the Bible talks about. We have to stand before the King of Kings one day. He will judge us according to what we did on Earth. He is a just judge.
9. Dowries: In some cultures, the payment of dowries to man’s family in exchange for marriage, is very common. Is this not a form of human trafficking? The man’s family is accepting money, selling their son into a marriage. Marriage is a sacred gift from God, and should never be based on money. It should only be based on the will of God. The funny fact is, when a guy’s family doesn’t demand a dowry, people think that there is something wrong with the guy. We are living in horrible days when marriages are even stopped because the bride’s family does not provide the dowry on time. Guys, this is a serious call for you. Stop blaming your parents and the society. What are you thinking your wife should have? The qualities that Proverbs 31 describes? Or a lady with a whole lot of money, beauty and jewels?
10. The feel of guilt: Last but not least, in case, dear Brothers and Sisters, if you or your friends have involved in any of the above, I wanted to remind you that it is not over. You need not live in guilt. Jesus came into the world for the sinners. He gave His life for us when we were quite unlovable, when we were sinners. In Isaiah 1:18, the Lord says, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Yes, His blood is able to wash your sins and free yourself from your guilt.
Will you accept Him as your savior today? Will you see others in the same way that Jesus would see them? People are not flesh and blood so you can do whatever you want to them, but they are God’s temple. God lives in them. And they are precious to God. Every human being, from the moment of conception, is created in the image of God, and are all equal in the eyes of God.
One of my friends and his team 'Bearing Armor' have a website that is exclusively for standing against human trafficking. Please visit http://bearingarmor.org/main.asp. They are also on FaceBook now. https://www.facebook.com/bearing.armor - This is the link to their account. Please also watch the video they posted on the main page. It is very powerful. I have also added it here.