Slavery: The 27+ Million

March 08, 2012

I’m sure most of you by now have been made aware of this new movement called ‘KONY 2012’. For the sake of keeping things short, i’m going to assume you’ve already heard about it and watched the video… so here is what I would like to append to the conversation:

There is no doubt that we can all agree the cause behind the ‘KONY 2012’ movement is a good one. All of us want to see freedom for those who are enslaved. My first reaction to viewing this video was to share it- I think a lot of people did the same. It wasn’t until I did a little more research about where a non-profit organizations income goes, that I was a bit shocked and realized how naive I was. Only 31% of InvisibleChildren’s (the charity behind ‘KONY 2012’) income goes to fighting actual slavery. The other 69% goes to company expenses, and InvisibleChildren is primarily about awareness programs and products. Basically, if I’m going to contribute even $10, less than $3.10 will make it to the actual cause.

In the beginning of this year, I attended the Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA, where we (42,000, 18-25 year-olds) also raised awareness for slavery. Believe it or not, there are actually over 27 million slaves that exist in the world today. During the three days of the conference, we contributed a total of over $3.1 million to fund other organizations for recovery/counseling of victims, prevention programs and education, as well as rescue missions. Since we are all aware of what actually might be going on outside of our country, it isn’t going to be the best use of our money to fund more awareness. Each of us have our own voice- shout! If  you are going to donate or support any organization, you should be supporting those who will deal with the cause directly. Above all, remember that it’s not always just about putting your money in the basket, sometimes it’s your personal awakening that this is something God has called you to dedicate your life towards.

If you really want to fight against slavery- to fight for all 27 million- and become a part of the real movement, here are some things you can do in addition to spreading the word:

  • - How many slaves work for you? There are 27 million slaves in the world today. Many of them contribute to the supply chains that end up in the products we use every day. Find out how many slaves work for you, and take action.
  • 72 Days for Freedom -For 72 days we are putting modern day slavery front and center and calling everyone, everywhere to action. We invite you to join the fight and become a modern day abolitionist. Together we are a force for good.
  • A21 Campaign - The A21 Campaign is a non-profit organisation, principally engaged in the abolishment of human injustice in the 21st Century, with particular emphasis on abolishing human trafficking- modern day slavery.
  • International Justice Mision - A human rights organization that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression. IJM documents and monitors conditions of abuse and oppression, educates the church and public about the abuses and mobilizes intervention on behalf of victims.
  • Not For Sale - Equips and mobilizes Smart Activists to re-abolish slavery — in their own backyards and across the globe. Not For Sale believes every individual has a skill they can contribute to fight human trafficking, and together we can end slavery in our lifetime.
  • Restore International - Our goal is simple: to fight injustice. Restore International seeks to find daring and audacious ways to combat human rights violations, including forced prostitution and slave labor. Instead of just talking about it, we want to be actively seeking ways to bring hope, justice, and restoration.
  • Hagar International - An international Christian organisation dedicated to the protection, recovery and community integration of survivors of human rights abuse; particularly human trafficking, gender-based violence and sexual exploitation. We serve individual women and children regardless of religion, political preference, ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation, and do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to restore life in all its fullness.
  • Tiny Hands International - Committed to identifying the greatest injustices in the world and working towards bringing relief to those who live under its oppression.  We are particularly called to orphans, street children, women’s empowerment and those threatened by, or victims of the sex-trafficking industry.

Tom Beute

Written by Tom Beute– a Christian, barista, and software engineer.