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A reminder that January is National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month

To the Editor:
So sad to read in the Elizabethton Star (December 30, 2020), “Child labor in palm oil industry tied to Girl Scout cookies.” A Jonesborough, TN Girl Scout said, “I thought Girl Scouts was supposed to be about making the world a better place. But this isn’t at all making the world better.”
An AP investigation found ten-year old girls work 12 hours a day helping harvest palm oil used in the Girl Scout cookies in Indonesia and Malaysia and often are trafficked or sexually abused. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Most people wrongly think slavery ended in America. They believe the work of men like Fredrick Douglass and Abe Lincoln ended slavery. Sadly, the institution of slavery is still very much alive, it just goes by a new name: Human Trafficking. Every day, millions of victims mostly women (one-third children) are bought and sold around the world. There are more registered sex offenders in the United States than ever before. There are 917,771 registered sex offenders in the United States. The United States is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. According to a recent released report by the State Department, the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines. America’s dirty little secret is the United States is the number one consumer of paid sex worldwide. So America is driving the demand as a society.
Anti-Sex Trafficking activist Jaco Booyens said President Trump has done more to fight sex trafficking than any president. President Trump has made it a priority and has empowered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help keep America’s children safe. Tennessee is the best state in the nation for its response to the threat of human trafficking according to the nation’s leading experts. Shared Hope International grades and ranks every state in the nation annually assessing law enforcement approaches, legislation and survivor services. Tennessee scored the highest in the nation on dealing effectively with human trafficking. The Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline is 855-558-6484. Runaways and kidnapped children are forced into the sex trade. There are 94 children each month with an average age of 13 who are trafficked in Tennessee it’s estimated. Abuse of children causes revulsion if anyone has a heart at all for God, His Word the Bible or the children who are being victimized. Pray that God will pour out His justice and pray for mercy and healing for the victims of abuse. Jesus said, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
Sometimes the truth is very unpleasant. The Bible in Ephesians says do not only shun the “unfruitful works of darkness, but even expose them.” There is evil in the world and getting worse. We can’t close our eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist, and we can’t fight it with our heads in the sand, thinking happy thoughts. “You can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” Be sure you know who your children are talking to on the phone or internet and teach them to never give their home address. It’s important to be a voice for the voiceless and for victims. Victims have said that abuse negatively affected them for decades after the abuse ended. Christian victims said only after they gave their life and past to Jesus, Jesus strengthened them, and delivered them from shame, suicidal thoughts, depression, bitterness and despair. Pain and heartache is real but Jesus with us in our pain and heartache is more real. The Bible says Jesus is near to the brokenhearted! Only Jesus can bring beauty from ashes. However you will never know what beauty Jesus can make from your ashes or messed up life until you give it to him!

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton