Orphan Care and Human Trafficking: Are the Two Really Connected?

Posted by on Aug 31, 2012

So we’re getting this question about the link between orphan care and human trafficking fairly often these days. And it’s a good one that we’re so glad is being asked.

David Arialdo 2012

David Arialdo 2012

The short answer is yes, the two are definitely connected. But the ‘how they’re connected’ requires a little more detail. So we’ve devoted these next few paragraphs to offering a quick landscape of how the two fit – and how tending orphaned children in this part of the world interrupts patterns that lead to human trafficking.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

We know that most of our sisters are well aware of global stats on modern day slavery. More than 27 million people the world over find themselves in various forms of enslavement – forced to work for little or no pay, forced to work under the constant threat of violence, made to engage in prostitution with death promises or worse if escape attempts are made. The dark list goes on and so does the daily violation of enslaved millions’ basic human rights.

Children are far from exempt, often reaping the worst of scenarios. The International Labour Organization estimates that 126 million children around the world are made to work in ways harmful to their health and welfare…

So back to the question of how caring for orphans in South Sudan is connected to preventing human trafficking.

Decades of clashing between what is now South Sudan and Sudan has left a million plus orphans. Long-running civil war and violence between these countries claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million South Sudanese, leaving countless children parentless. Alone and unprotected, these youngest members of an already fragmented society are left to fend for themselves. Daily, they wander in search of scarce water sources, food and some kind of shelter. Daily, they find themselves vulnerable to wild animals, rebel leaders on the lookout for child soldiers and slave traders eager to profit from sales of women and children. Desperate to survive, these children frequently find themselves victims of forced labour, soldier conscription, compulsory marriages and sexual exploitation. Violence, or the perpetual threat of it, goes without saying.

We could offer more details and stories – and at times, we will. But for now, we thought we’d shed a bit more light on the important matter of how caring for orphans is inseparable from interrupting patterns that lead to trafficking and modern day slavery…

Caring for orphans physically protects one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations on our planet. By offering safe housing, medical care, education and food/nutrition, South Sudan’s orphaned children no longer need to migrate from place to place. In an orphanage, they can stay put. Such a secure and more permanent environment dramatically reduces the risk of being abducted and given over to the many forms of enslavement.

This attention to physical human need cannot be overestimated. But of equal – and perhaps even greater – weight is the gospel-centric emotional and spiritual care that followers of Christ can offer our world’s orphans. Conveying God’s love while tending children’s emotional and physical needs communicates infinite worth, dignity and significance. Such an environment helps build esteem and a life-changing sense of personal security. And it’s often on this new foundation that an orphaned child begins to heal and grow in ways that impact her future life and that of her community. Those restored by a loving God may, themselves, become healers. Those who experience Christ’s peace and presence are most likely to become peacemakers.

And such changed lives could help transform this still-conflicted nation.

But right now, we have a million plus children that need love and protection. We have little people who need to know security, safety and something greater than simply surviving to avoid the grasps of those who would exploit them.

Human trafficking gets cut short when we tend the needs of our world’s orphans. Modern day slavery begins to look a whole lot less likely when we interrupt the nefarious supply chain of humans for sale.

But beyond all of these vital and strategic reasons for orphan care is this simple, underlying truth: For those of us who claim the name of Jesus, we’re meant to care about orphaned children because our Father, the God of this universe, loves them and He asks us to do the same…

And this, our amazing and beautiful sisters, is why we’re so grateful to be coming alongside the healing-hopeful work of Makeway Partners through our Hope Effect Challenge.

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