“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives” (Luke 4:18).

Each year an estimated 700,000 to 4 million people worldwide are trafficked, and 18,000 to 20,000 people are trafficked into the United States [Abolition of Sex Trafficking, General Conference Resolution 6023 in the Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church, 2008].

Human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, and major sporting events like the Super Bowl often provide opportunities that augment this statistic. The Super Bowl can lead to increased demand for trafficking in people for labor and sexual exploitation.

The U.S. State Department estimates that as many as 12.3 million adults and children are victims of forced labor or prostitution worldwide, and for those plying the trade, the Super Bowl is big business.

Your church can help end human trafficking:

  • Urge your Congressional legislators to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). Visit www.ijm.org/justice-campaigns/tvpra. This bipartisan bill renews and strengthens the legislation that established U.S. programs to fight slavery at home and abroad.
  • Provide local law enforcement officials and shelter providers with gift cards for gas and cell phones to give to victims.
  • Educate your church: Invite Abigal Kuzma, Director and Chief Counsel for the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General as your next guest speaker. Call 317-233-4393.

To receive additional information and updates on this issue, give your email address to contact Linda Todd, Social Advocacy Justice and Ethnic Ministries Team, at ljtodd@gmail.com.

Read: ‘Let my people go!’, an article in the January-February issue of Interpreter Magazine at www.interpretermagazine.org, “Church agencies battle human trafficking,” UMNS story, March 31, 2011at www.umc.org, “Human Trafficking Fact Sheet,” United Methodist Women at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umw/resources