January is Human Trafficking Awareness month. Sadly, no community—yes, even here in the United States—is immune to the evils of human trafficking. That’s why we all need to be aware of the signs and if we see something, report it. Send Relief put together the following helpful prayer guide to bring awareness to this issue. Also check out this podcast and this article, both with more specific information on knowing the signs of trafficking. —Randy Alcorn
• 46,876 miles of interstate
• 100,000 daily flights
• 53,000 hotels and over 5,000,000 rooms
• 185 US ports
The pavement, airways, hotels and ports constitute the network for human exploitation and slavery. As you travel, here’s how you can pray:
• Pray for the trafficking victim: strength, freedom, safety, hope, help, healing, and restoration. Pray for their families and that they can be reunited.
• Pray for exits along the interstate which includes:
• Truck Stops: Girls (called “Lot Lizards”) are dropped off by traffickers to go from truck to truck asking the truckers to buy them. Pray for Truckers Against Trafficking, Transport for Christ and other organizations who work to educate truckers and truck stop employees about human trafficking. Pray that the Human Trafficking Hotline number will be placed at all Truck Stops.
• Rest Areas: Traffickers may stop with victims to use restroom and to clean up as they often move the victims from city to city. Movement lessens the chances of them getting caught. Pray that the Human Trafficking Hotline number and materials can be placed in Rest Areas and that security is trained and placed at all rest areas.
• Motels & Hotels: Victims are often advertised on social media sites, appointments are made, and a buyer (the “John”) meets them at motel or hotel room. Pray that motel and hotel employees will be trained and will sign ECPAT’s code of conduct against sex trafficking. Pray that missing and exploited children’s pictures and booklets will get into the hotels so that children can be identified and rescued. Pray that the Human Trafficking Hotline number can be placed at facilities and in the rooms.
• Restaurants and Businesses: Pray that business owners are made aware of human trafficking and do not participate in sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Pray that they will be open to looking for missing and exploited children.
• Ports: A barge can hold as much as 1,500 tons of cargo. Not all containers can be inspected. Pray that port workers become educated on human trafficking, look for suspicious containers, and the resources and technology become available to make it possible to inspect more containers.
• Borders: Some borders have rivers, fences, checkpoints, and workers going back and forth across each day. Pray for Border Patrol and others that protect our borders to make a conscious effort to look for human trafficking.
• Stateline Checkpoints: Many truckers drive their trucks through checkpoints every day. Pray for the workers at the checkpoints to keep an eye out for human traffickers. Pray for more laws and better technology to inspect cargo that is processed through the checkpoints.
• Airports: Pray that all airport employees will be trained to recognize trafficking and place information regarding trafficking within the airports. Pray for pilots and flight attendants to be trained.
• Bus Stations and Train Stations: Pray for training for all employees in both of these transportation industries. Bus stations are notorious for traffickers hanging out to pick up runaways.
• Pray that law enforcement will be trained on what to look for and pray for their safety.
• Pray that the traffickers will be caught and prosecuted.
• Pray that buyers will be caught and prosecuted. If there was no buying, there would be no selling.
• Knowing that God’s grace is for everyone, pray for the trafficker and the buyer to be convicted of their sins and that they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This does not mean that they should go free and not pay for the consequences of their crimes.
• Pray for ministries as they seek to assist through providing shelter, food, clothing, transportation, and restoration.
• Pray for churches as they become knowledgeable about human trafficking, willing to educate others, and open to minister where God leads.
• Pray that human trafficking is stopped. Victims of Human Trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men, and women.
Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. The Human Trafficking Hotline number is 1-888-3737-888.
If you’d like to finally support organizations actively working to end human trafficking and minister to victims, check out these ones recommended by EPM: Compassion First, Gotta Go Ministries, International Justice Mission.