Human trafficking, the second largest and fastest growing illegal trade in the world, is modern-day slavery wherein people are in bondage through fraud, force or coercion. According to the U.S. Department of State and the Free the Slaves organization, between 12.3 and 27 million people are trafficked worldwide at any time. That’s approximately the total population (27 million) of Texas and Louisiana. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes estimates the total revenue of human trafficking to be $32 billion. That’s roughly the gross domestic product of Guatemala. Human trafficking is currently the second most profitable illegal trade, just behind drug trafficking. Within this vast trade in human lives, women and girls account for 70 to 80 percent of all humans trafficked worldwide. Therefore, the ELCA not only attends to ending human trafficking and caring for survivors, it also addresses root causes of trafficking, such as poverty, hunger, and sexism.
The curriculum series developed by ELCA staff members provides six one-hour sessions that educate beginners on the facts of human trafficking and how we as Lutherans can respond to the call to affect change in the systems that allow human trafficking to continue.