12 years as a modern-day slave

by Emily Betzler June 03, 2014

I just watched 12 years a slave.  Of course, after watching it I couldn't sleep (my poor husband BUT he should know better by now - this happens every time we watch even a slightly violent, dramatic, intense or challenging movie, - when will he learn to just stick with Disney G's ??).  After watching it my mind was going 100 miles an hour wrestling with these questions:
Why does evil exist? How can people be so evil? How can we be so complacent and passive?
How is it possible that this was happening not that long ago - practically my great-grandparents generation!?
How can people just sit by and do nothing, when atrocious things like this are happening?
All this eventually led to a an internal question -
What morally wrong, atrocious and evil things are happening in the world today and what am I doing about them?
Followed by a prayer that God would open my eyes to whatever it maybe and move me into a position to do battle.  Before I even finished praying, the answer came because I already knew the answer, I had even written about it before.

SLAVERY STILL EXISTS.

Today, there are between 21-30 million slaves in the world. [1] These are real people, with real faces, and real hopes and dreams and that are trapped in a system of exploitation they can't escape.

Slavery Fact Sheet

What are modern-day slaves doing?

I don't want to be the person who simply casts a sympathetic glance and lets myself off the hook because I personally don't own slaves.  I want to be the person who does something.  What can I do? What can you do?

Start by learning the facts -

Free the Slaves - This site provides the most comprehensive picture of modern-day slavery and provides action steps that we can take to end slavery. Slavery Footprint - Take this quiz and see how many slaves work for you, then make a goal to reduce this number by 2015. This site is very cool and very eye-opening, if you have already done the quiz, I recommend taking it again, it is a good reminder of the reality of our world. Don't forget to read the facts as you go along.

Slavery Footprint

Read these reports - Forced Labor in the United States, The Modern Churches Opportunity to End Slavery, Again, Slavery Map,

Become a conscious consumer -

Demand products that are Slavery Free!  Seriously, WHY WOULD WE NOT?  The basic law of economics applies here too, if we demand slavery free products and are willing to seek them out, companies will respond. Check out these apps and sites which make understanding the implications behind your products easier:

Set captives free

The Spirit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me.  The Lord has appointed me for a special purposeHe has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to repair broken hearts, And to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison,“Be free from your imprisonment!”  
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1. U.N. International Labor Organization Global Estimate of Forced Labor 2012 - http://www.ilo.org/washington/WCMS_182004/lang--en/index.htm



Emily Betzler
Emily Betzler

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