DAY 16 - Labor trafficking
Today we will focus our prayer and repentance on the plight of labor trafficking.
Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
According the International Labor Organization, over 12 million people around the world are victims of labor trafficking – a form of slavery in which individuals perform their work through the use of force, fraud or coercion. This includes, but is not limited to, situations of debt bondage, forced labor and involuntary child labor.(1)
LABOR ABUSE IN THE UNITED STATES
Industries most frequently associated with labor abuse include:
- Domestic businesses
- Domestic businesses
It can be very difficult to identify victims as they are usually kept as secluded as possible. Immigrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, especially if they are in the country illegally.
The United States is also the largest consumer of goods produced at the expense of slaves around the world. Coffee, sugar, chocolate, and cotton are just a few examples.(2)
LABOR ABUSE IN MEXICO
Mexico is tangled up in labor trafficking as a large source, transit, and destination country in the following ways:(3)
Vulnerable Mexican nationals are particularly abused
as domestic servants, street beggars, and construction workers – both at
home and in the US.
Victims in transit from Central and South America,
the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa come through Mexico on
their way to the United States, but also end up enslaved in Mexico.
- Mexican men and boys from rural areas are used as forced laborers in northern Mexico, while victims from Central America are used in agricultural areas in southern Mexico.
For those caught in the trap of labor trafficking, the joy of service is fleeting as they quickly find themselves in abusive and unsafe conditions. What began as a promising opportunity to serve and/or make a living turns into a nightmare of captivity.
To read the full USRPN article on this issue, please click here.
Father, forgive me if I, in any way, have been so focused on fulfilling my own desires and needs that I have neglected to consider the expense of others.
Lord, we repent for greed and the devaluing of human life in our two nations. Forgive us for establishing systems that allow and even, at times, require the exploitation of desperate individuals. We repent for tolerating this activity in our communities and ignoring the basic rights and dignity of those victimized.
God, we pray for the breakup, arrest, and just prosecution of human smuggling rings.
We cry out for the protection and effectiveness of
law enforcement, border patrol, and military personnel seeking to
dismantle the human trafficking problem in our two nations.
Lord, we ask You to convict the hearts of business
owners and operators who have sought unjust gain through the abuse of
their laborers. Cause them to turn from their ways and make restitution
to those they have wronged.
- God of Justice, create a culture for godly human rights to protect migrant workers and other hardworking individuals in our two nations.
1. Be a conscientious consumer. Find out what your slavery footprint is and make some adjustments to your lifestyle.
2. Find out if products and businesses you use are treating their workers fairly. Click here for a list of companies committed to Fair Trade.
3. If you see or suspect trafficking, report it.