This has some disturbing content to an extent. We have done our best to keep things as honest as possible while being very clear but without introducing concepts that young people need not be exposed to. Nevertheless exercise caution and read through this session before using it and decide on the suitability for your group / amend as appropriate.
All links checked and working, April 2019.
External resources from stopthetraffik to help
Stopthetraffik website – https://www.stopthetraffik.org
Trafficking – Facts
– This affects 20.9 million people globally. It is modern day slavery. 4.5 million of these are trafficked into sexual exploitation.
– Only 1-2% of people are ever rescued or escape.
– 27% of victims are children. Those from poor families or vulnerable situations are more at risk.
– Children and teenagers are often tricked into trafficking (promises of modeling, a new job, or that someone loves them). People have even been tricked from junior schools and malls.
– Love146 charity estimate a common price for a child is just $72.
– On average, two children are sold every minute.
– Some children as young as eight are sold for sex trafficking.
– Trafficked people are often given a number instead of their name.
– Sex trafficking takes place in every country and community.
– Those involved in using (abusing) trafficked people have often been exposed to sex, porn or have been abused as a young child.
– There are ways in which we can help stop trafficking.
External Link to what it is – https://www.stopthetraffik.org
Why not set up some kind of ‘captivity’ for your group? This could be as simple as closing off some of the room and keeping everyone in it. Or you could even have some of the group kept in a confined area and some not in the confined area. If someone breaks out of the confined area, you could decide whether to ask them to go back or if they don’t want to, that’s fine. You can make the point that no-one wants to be held captive against their will. Just think of something visual in the room that can help reinforce the point that forced slavery is unacceptable.
True Stories – from love146.com
S was part of a family of seven people where there wasn’t enough money to go round. A woman came to the town where S lived and offered her work in sales at a city department store. S’s parents agreed to let her go. S wasn’t taken to a department store but to a bar which was really ended a brothel. She was enslaved there until rescued.
E was from a family where there was abuse, neglect and poverty. When she was just 15 she started working at a strip club. She was proud to be working in an environment where she was seen and treated as an adult. The club provided her with fake ID. A judge would often come in and pay for her to have sex with him. It was months before E realised she’d been exploited.
‘Our Girl’ UK TV series and Stop The Traffik – https://www.stopthetraffik.org/uk-drama-girl-shines-light-human-trafficking-humanitarian-disasters/
‘At risk’ signs for trafficked people – http://www.love146.org/report/
The Bible (and God!) is Against Slavery
There are some people who don’t understand God (or who are against God) who say that God or the Bible is ‘for’ slavery. This is not true and is a misrepresentation of the Bible and of God. The Bible talks about slavery and it sometimes doesn’t appear to be forcefully against slavery in some places. But this doesn’t mean God isn’t against slavery. God is against anything that holds people down, that crushes people, that is evil, that is truly unjust or where people are not treated as a child of God.
It is also worth knowing that Christians are and have been at the absolute forefront of stopping human and sex trafficking, even before governments were able to act. Today some of the greatest rescue and anti trafficking work is done globally by Christians.
The Bible Says
There are many places where the Bible talks about freeing people who are in chains. One of these places we’ll look at is Isaiah 61. This is a prophecy about Jesus, but it’s not wrong to use it to show that this is what God’s will is. If this is what Jesus came to do then it’s what he also calls us to do.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
In Isaiah 61 we see the heart of God
The heart of God is to do these things:
1. To preach good news (that’s what ‘Gospel’ means) to the poor. The good news about Jesus is for everyone but time and time again, we find that people who don’t have much are more open to hear about God. When people think they have everything (although they don’t really!) they often haven’t got time for God. People who have been trafficked are poor in the sense that they often don’t own anything themselves. They are provided for (maybe a little or maybe a bit) so they become dependent on those who ‘own’ them. Jesus calls us to show God’s love and goodness to all who are poor.
2. To bind up the broken-hearted. There are all kinds of broken hearts around us from relationships, failures, sin and all the bad things that life can bring. But those who have been trafficked have broken hearts. Very often they have been completely broken and crushed in order to make them do what they are told. They often lose their identity. We are called to be there for those who are crushed in spirit.
3. To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. The Bible isn’t simply talking about releasing prisoners from prison and letting them loose to cause havoc on the streets. This is something much deeper. Actually when Jesus changes people’s lives, crime disappears anyway! In one town in South America where God really moved in power, all the prisons that were once packed full became completely empty! You can also say that anyone who doesn’t know Jesus is really a captive – a slave of the devil and a slave to sin. Only Jesus brings true freedom!
But in the case of trafficking, we’re thinking of the heart of Jesus is to free those who are captives. If only 1-2% of people who are trafficked are set free then it means that there are millions still in captivity today. Millions of people who Jesus wants to see released physically but then emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The thing about trafficking and the sex trade is that it is all dark and nasty really. It may seem to have the ‘face’ of being OK or even harmless. But it isn’t. Those who are held captive are in darkness and need to be released. So do those who traffic people – they also need to be released from their sin and the evil of being a trafficker.
4. God’s heart is also to comfort those who grieve and who mourn. God’s heart is for people who are sad and suffering. The Bible tells us (as one example) that the people of Israel who were slaves in Egypt cried out to God and he heard their cry and sent Moses to be their deliverer. God wants to send people like you and me to be the deliverer of those enslaved in people trafficking. One girl who had been rescued said to the leader of the project who’d rescued her that she wasn’t going to even cry about what had happened to her. She had so much pain inside her that she couldn’t let it out. In that case the man was able to share about God’s love and she allowed him to call her by her real name – a name she hadn’t been called for years. So God wants to bring comfort and healing to those who mourn.
5. Finally, one thing we often forget about helping people is that God doesn’t just want people to be rescued, he wants them to be completely healed and restored. This means that God wants all of us to become all that he made us to be. God is our creator and only our creator can help ‘put us back together’ when we’re broken. Isaiah 61 tells us that God wants us to give us a “crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” This is transformation at its best – God completely reversing all the bad and turning it to good. To all those who have been trafficked God is saying – you are beautiful and I want to give you joy and praise, taking away all your hurt, pain and despair. This is who God is and what he wants to do. The exciting thing for us is not just that he wants to do this in our lives too (!) but that he wants to use us to help others find this beauty and value – something everyone deserves to know!
Plan Of Action – On A3 or A4 Paper
Question. What can you do personally to stop trafficking? Write down or draw some ideas.
Here are some resources and ideas to help you:
1. You can support measures to protect children online.
2. You can keep a look out for suspicious activity and vulnerable people.
3. Raise awareness of the issue with your school, church, family and friends.
4. Be part of campaigns such as stopthetraffik in the UK or any other relevant projects, especially Christian projects.
5. Contact your MP or local council officials.
6. Support any measures aimed at stopping pornography.
7. Consider what you buy, where you buy it from and how it was made. Buy ethically sourced products and goods.
8. We PRAY! Get informed and pray. Pray God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done. Pray Isaiah 61 saying things like, “Lord you came to set the captives free. I pray you set people who have been trafficked free.”
A challenge against porn – especially to lads – Health Warning!
One of the most effective ways to stop something is to stop the source. For example if you have a bath, you turn the tap on and the bath fills up (as long as the plug is in!) So you have a bath or water. But if you don’t want any water in the first place, the best way to stop it is to keep the tap turned off.
The evidence is that men using prostitutes of whatever age is that these men were exposed to porn at an early age. (One man who visited a prostitute said it was horrible and nothing like he imagined in a bad way). This is a clear factor when thinking about the types of people who are ‘users’. So one way to fight sex trafficking is to fight things like porn. They are not harmless, they are very serious and really nasty. Listen…
– Porn devalues women (who God made) by making them simply sex objects, which they are not.
– Porn pollutes what God designed to be something pure and lovely (sex) between married man and wife.
– Porn can also make people mess up their relationships and create more broken-ness in society.
– Porn also messes up the heads of people and often lead to sex offences and sex crimes.
– It can also end up making someone an abuser of a sex trafficked slave and therefore part of the problem and a causer of sex trafficking.
1 Samuel 11.1-3 – In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman washing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.
This is a clear case of the evil of early day ‘porn’ as seen in the day of King David. King David allowed his eyes to be looking at something that did not belong to him – another man’s wife. As a result of focusing on something he shouldn’t have been, his mind went places it should not go and he did something that was totally wrong. This then led to another crime, the killing of Bathsheba’s husband. And what was the result – the baby died. The result of David’s sin was death. God forgave David and he turned things round for good (Bathsheba gave birth to another baby who became King Solomon). But the actual act was very wrong and led to death.
So here’s the challenge: a real man treats women as God sees them and as the Bible tells us! A real man doesn’t look at porn either online or in any other way. As far as you’re able keep yourself pure. Philippians 4 tells us to focus on what is good, noble, pure, trustworthy, honest and good. Keep yourself clean, don’t be part of the problem and challenge your mates too. Porn is not harmless: it’s addictive in an evil way, it causes slavery, sin, abuse, rape and even murder. So be part of the solution not the problem.