Lent and Human Trafficking

I love my weekly emails from the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church.  It's all packed full of articles about social justice issues, which of course is right up my alley.  This past email, they had a great article on Lent and Human Trafficking - how can we use this time of intentionality to make a difference?

There 40 days could allow us - if we courageously accept - to see our own slavery footprint. 

The article promotes a link to slaveryfootprint.org where you can take a quiz to see how many slaves are John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had three rules to living a faithful life.  It goes on to interpret these rules so they apply to human trafficking:
  1. Do no harm: find ways to avoid buying slave made products
  2. Do good: pray and give to organizations fighting trafficking and helping victims
  3. Stay in love with God: our source of strength, compassion, and love who can help us continue our much needed work for justice.

The article finishes up with a link to slaveryfootprint.org where you can take a quiz to see how many slaves are currently working for you based on your current consumer habits. It takes about 5-10 minutes.  According to their survey...

Well isn't that a sobering thought!  But they're exactly right - knowing about the problem is the first step.  I already make shopping second hand a priority for clothing, but I haven't examined slavery free options for other things, like household items, or food.  Now that I know I can do (much) better, I'm making every effort to learn more in order to do more.

So, in attempts not to leave myself totally depressed over the news that about 46 slaves work for me, I need to focus on how I can learn more and help the situation.  So I'll leave you with two great tools for learning more about how human slavery directly impacts your day to day life:

*Click here to read the US Department of Labor's List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

*FREE2WORK has an awesome free app that allows you to scan barcodes with your iPhone and see what part forced labor played in the production of that product.

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