Though many of us think of slavery as a thing of the past, a shameful part of our history that has been rooted out in a world of increased equality and tolerance, the reality is that today there are millions of slaves around the world. Estimates put the number between 20 and 30 million – an alarming figure.
So what can we do about it? It’d be easy to become overwhelmed at the magnitude of the task when we begin thinking about it, but like me, you’d be surprised to know that the most effective thing you can do do help end modern slavery is in fact very simple.
In his important book Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves (University of California, 2007), Kevin Bales tells the story of a college student who was given the assignment to determine the most effective thing a person can do to end slavery.
She spent weeks researching and analyzing the possibilities, organizing letter campaigns and fundraisers, and volunteering at human rights organizations. She came back to her professor with what to many of us may be a surprising conclusion:
“At the end of her analysis, one action stood head and shoulders above the others. According to her research, the most effective thing the average person can do to end slavery is this: Join an antislavery organization like Free the Slaves, and send it $10 a month.”
Bales goes on to say, “What the antislavery movement needs more than anything is for every person who wants slavery to end to make a small regular donation. When that happens, there will be a stable income needed to build the long-term projects that will roll back slavery around the world” (234).
So are you ready to start giving $10, $15, $20 a month to an organization that does the hard work of fighting slavery? If so, here are a few reputable organizations, faith-based and secular, where your contribution can go a long way:
International Justice Mission: http://ijm.org/
World Vision: http://www.worldvision.org/
Polaris Project: http://www.polarisproject.org/
Free the Slaves: https://www.freetheslaves.net/
International Organization for Migration: http://bit.ly/1dgWKci