What would it take: To End Human Trafficking through Real Social Justice.
When working against an issue like human trafficking, it can become easy to focus on the most glamourous side of the issue… beautiful young white girls trafficked into Cape Town’s high end strip clubs.
And although the strip clubs are a major issue in Cape Town… it only takes ten minutes on google to find alleged cases of trafficking against any of them: Mavericks, Arabesque, Teazers, House of Rasputin; the issue of trafficking spans so much more.
It brings to mind the words: Social Justice. What does it mean? (I googled it, the answer was lame: Social justice is the application of the concept of justice on a social scale). So then, what does it look like?
David Batstone of Not For Sale often has quoted, “They say give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime, but that is not totally true, because he will still be vulnerable to the owner of the pond, that man needs to get equity in the pond.” He then adds, “We can stand at the bottom of the river and pull people out of the water, but eventually we need to head upstream, real justice is finding out why they are falling in and stopping it.”
So skills, ownership, prevention, etc.
Ending human trafficking is not just about stopping pretty girls from getting tricked out of Eastern Europe to work in strip clubs. It is not just about freeing the underage African girl from her pimp. Its not just about sending home the vietnamese fishermen who have been trapped as slaves on a boat for 8 months.
Although it is a part of the story, it is not real justice. Justice is about making long lasting change. It is about creating viable options for vulnerable women so that they don’t get trafficked. It is about alleviating systemic poverty, getting ARV’s to parents so that they can provide for their families, ensuring education is available for those who live in rural communities, prosecuting those who would take advantage of the poor, the list goes on…
In all of this though, there is another piece of the puzzle. Justice will come when those who see human trafficking, gangsterism, and exploitation as their only option are given the opportunity to create a new future. I am talking about the would-be traffickers. Kids like those who grow up in Manenberg, a notorious gang community in Cape Town.
Here many youth feel that being in a gang is their only option, and so a new generation of exploitation is bred.
Justice is about giving these kids a chance so that they don’t have to grow up to be a trafficker or drug dealer or gang banger (in the original meaning of the term:|). That is exactly what one of our friend Pete is trying to do. He wants to create a new future for his friends in Manenberg by fostering an identity built on Jesus, not drugs and gangs, and by providing a real employment options. In his own way, he is playing his part to see social justice happen.
Check out this video below to see more on the project happening in Cape Town, and how you can help them start a house of discipleship to go along with a place of employment:
For those of us who are passionate about social justice, about seeing real change happen in the area of exploitation, poverty, and drug abuse, then we need to be the ones on board financially and spiritually with projects like Fusion.
We serve a God who sent His son so that we can have life abundantly. This is a God who calls us each to do justice, love mercy, and walk with Him in humility. This is a God who wants to bring transformation to communities. To shake them inside out so that we can all stand back and recognize that all glory goes to Him!
Pete recently painted a mural of blessing on his home on Manenberg Ave. so that even the graffiti can be transformed. If you are looking for a project to sow into that is going to have a major impact, then I would definitely encourage you to get on board with what these guys are doing! Let’s see real change happen as blessing and life is spoken out in declaration.
It will take people in communities all around the world coming up with new and innovative ideas to really stop human trafficking and all issues of exploitation. And it will look just like this mural of light, speaking blessing over places that were once shrouded in darkness.