It has been a roller-coaster 5 weeks but I am now at home in my own bed. Remind me to never again take it for granted that in England you can flush toilet paper (not the case in Thailand).
I find myself crying and laughing in succession as I look back at all. Where to begin? How can we just go back to normal? How can we live life whilst knowing that women who I would now call my friends are going to have to ‘entertain’ customers again tonight. How can I sleep easy in my own bed again, knowing she is far from comfortable in hers?
We can’t. I can’t. I won’t.
So what is my response? What can we do? What can anyone do?
- Get informed- Human trafficking is absolutely everywhere. Do you know the signs? Staying up to date on relevant news and changes to laws is always helpful. A quick google search won’t take you hours and could make a huge difference if you choose to act on what you read. Why not look up what the most common forms of trafficking are where you live, so you’ll know what to look out for? I can almost guarantee it will be happening in some form near you.
- Partake in campaigns or join an abolition group- A21 run ‘Walks for Freedom’ all over the world. It is an incredible way to stand for freedom. These walks raise awareness and funds every year. Abolition groups exist up and down the country. If you’re at York, do join us at YATS (shameless plug there).
- Be an ethical consumer- MY ABSOLUTE PASSION. I WILL TALK TO ANYONE FOR HOURS ABOUT FAIRTRADE GIVEN THE CHANCE. Human trafficking is littered across supply chains. It’s everywhere from your favourite clothes shop (HnM, Zara and Gap to name but a few), to your local car wash, to the bars on the streets of Pattaya. Buying Fairtrade, especially in the UK, is becoming easier and easier. I’d recommend everyone watches The True Cost to find out more about this and check out this website for some easy ways to shop more ethically and information about the standard of ethics of your favourite shops.
- Donate- I know you’ve heard it before but donating to charities who are making a difference in this area is crucial so that they can do what they do. Whether it’s Thrive (the organisation I was working with) or one of the bigger ones such as Hope for Justice, A21 or IJM. It costs $450 to support one of Thrive Rescue’s kids for a month. This may seem like a lot but they welcome small donations too. These kids are looked after well and the quality of aftercare is outstanding.
- Refrain from feeding the demand– Bit of a controversial one but I can’t deny what I saw and heard. Pornography and the media are huge contributors to the demand for purchasable sex. Whilst there is porn, there will probably be sex trafficking. See here for more information.
- Pray!- These girls who have to wake up each day knowing exactly what they’ll be facing that night, they need you prayers. These children who have been sold by their own parents, they need your prayers. These organisation who are desperately trying to make a dent in this mountain of an issue, they need your prayers.
It can be overwhelming to look at the numbers and statistics but we have a responsibility to research, use our resources and voices to do something.
Back again for the last time.
I’ll remember her laugh, her smile, her honesty, her humility.
“Thank you for everything.”
Those were the last words she said to us. I won’t forget them.
My challenge for you today is to do something.Which of these things can you do? Any? (Hint: Yes) All? Do talk to me if you’d like more information or to hear about my trip. This will be my last post about my time at The Justice School but these posts really just scratch the surface so let’s go for coffee 🙂
‘The Rock, his work is perfect; For all his ways are justice: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity. Just and right is he. ‘- Deuteronomy 32:41