Human Trafficking or modern day slavery as it has been called, is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, according to the US Department of Justice. The International Labor Organization estimates that “of the 21 million in forced labour 70% are in forced labour exploitation and 22% are in forced sexual exploitation.” Simply put, human trafficking occurs when vulnerable populations are exploited for commercial gain. The annual income from this exploitation is approximately 32 billion dollars.
As we now see, slavery still exists both overseas and across the street. The US Department of State estimates that 18,000 foreign nationals are trafficked into the US each year.According to the FBI, “an estimated 293,000 American youths currently are at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation.” So what can you do?
First you can become aware. Second, you can make others aware. Gary Haugen, the president of the International Justice Mission, explains that “awareness is doing the work.” Though not exhaustive, the following twelve books will engage, inform, and inspire you to be a voice for those whose voice is not heard.
- The Trafficking in Persons Report 2013
“The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. It represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it.“
- A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery by E. Benjamin Skinner . Skinner examines and exposes the reality of slavery in the world today. This book will exists not merely to inform you to the horrors of human trafficking but to inspire you to action.
- The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade by Victor Malarek. The Natashas has been described as “an angry, impassioned book, for which Malarek makes no apologies.” Malarek painstakingly describes the trafficking of young girls from the former Soviet Union into countries around the world. His research and strength as a journalist make this a must read for those that desire to know the inner workings of the sex trade.
- Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Day Slavery by Siddharth Kara. According to Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, this is “the best book ever written on human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Representing a new period of solid yet humane scholarship, this breakthrough analysis represents a quantum leap in the study of this subject. Simply beyond anything I have seen anywhere.” Kara uses his background in finance and economics to provide an analysis on the business of sex trafficking. This is a worthwhile read.
- Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade–and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone. “Award-winning journalist David Batstone, whom Bono calls “a heroic character,” profiles the new generation of abolitionists who are leading the movement. This groundbreaking global report is now updated with the latest findings, new stories, and statistics that highlight what is being done to end this appalling epidemic—and how you can join the movement.” (from the back cover)
- The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today by Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter. “…But human trafficking doesn’t happen in the US, right?” Bales and Soodalter expose the slavery that is hidden in plain sight right here in the USA. This book is a must read for those that want to know about domestic human trafficking.
- Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World where Girls Are Not for Sale by Rachel Lloyd. From the back cover: “During her teens, Rachel Lloyd ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. With time, through incredible resilience, and with the help of a local church community, she finally broke free of her pimp and her past and devoted herself to helping other young girls escape “the life.” In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark world of commercial sex trafficking in cinematic detail and tells the story of her groundbreaking nonprofit organization: GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. With great humanity, she shares the stories of the girls whose lives GEMS has helped—small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.”
- Good News about Injustice by Gary Haugen. ”The good news about injustice is that God is against it. God is in the business of using the unlikely to accomplish justice and mercy. In this tenth-anniversary edition of Gary Haugen’s challenging and encouraging book he offers stories of courageous Christians who have stood up for justice in the face of human trafficking, forced prostitution, racial and religious persecution, and torture. This expanded edition brings up to date his work in calling for the body of Christ to act. Throughout, he provides concrete guidance on how ordinary Christians can rise up to seek justice throughout the world.”
- Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller. “It is commonly thought in secular society that the Bible is one of the greatest hindrances to doing justice. Isn’t it full of regressive views? Didn’t it condone slavery? Why look to the Bible for guidance on how to have a more just society? But Timothy Keller challenges these preconceived beliefs and presents the Bible as a fundamental source for promoting justice and compassion for those in need. In Generous Justice, he explores a life of justice empowered by an experience of grace: a generous, gracious justice.” Generous Justice foundational for any christian that is interested in learning more about how he or she change the world!
- Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power To Abolish Modern Day Slavery by Shayne Moore and Kimberly Yim. You don’t have to wear a cape to fight injustice. The authors, Yim and Moore, show us what normal ordinary people can do to fight modern day slavery. This is a must read for those interested in fighting human trafficking.
- The Just Church: Becoming a Risk-taking, Justice-Seeking, Disciple-making Congregation by Jim Martin. Exploitation happens in every community in the world. But God has also placed his church in every community in the world. The Just Church serves as a guide for church leaders and individuals. Martin’s book offers practical examples and advice for those that want to be relevant to those that are being exploited both overseas and across the street.
Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves by Kevin Bales. ”None of us is truly free while others remain enslaved. The continuing existence of slavery is one of the greatest tragedies facing our global humanity. Today we finally have the means and increasingly the conviction to end this scourge and to bring millions of slaves to freedom. Read Kevin Bales’s practical and inspiring book, and you will discover how our world can be free at last.”—Desmond Tutu