Even though state-sanctioned slavery was abolished more than 200 years ago, human trafficking and slavery remain the third largest illegal industry in the world today.
A new wave of Abolitionists are coming together on 20 November 2011 for Abolitionist Sunday to continue the fight to bring an end to slavery.
"The Abolitionist movement of 200 years ago made considerable achievements, but the fact that exploitation and slavery still thrives today shows us the job is not yet done,” said World Vision’s Campaign Leader for Christian Engagement Steven Cooke.
“Human trafficking can be found in many industries worldwide. Consumers are often unaware that trafficked and exploited labour has been used to produce their goods.
"Part of the commitment people make on Abolitionist Sunday is to buy ethically certified presents for others.
“This means we help support companies who do not use exploitative labour in their supply chains and also help spread the message of being an ethical consumer to our friends and family.
“Sometimes it can seem extremely difficult to address this global injustice, but through days like Abolitionist Sunday we begin to see that we are not just one person, but thousands and thousands choosing to change our actions to benefit others.”
The church has an important role to play in combating this issue. Through prayer and action, churches can contribute to local and global efforts to stop slavery and protect children.
What can your church do?
There are many ways your church can join the next generation of Abolitionists fighting human trafficking and slavery.
Below are some suggestions and ideas, but we encourage you to be creative!
- Speak: Give a presentation or preach on issues of poverty and injustice, especially as it relates to slavery. You may want to invite a World Vision speaker to share in your service. For suggestions and sermon ideas, see the Abolitionist Sunday Speakers Notes page available online.
- Pray: Dedicate time to pray together as a church for victims of human trafficking and slavery, and for organisations addressing this worldwide. Reflect on the issue and seek God’s guidance and perspective on this injustice. You might find the prayers in “Additional Resources” helpful.
- Eat & Drink Ethically: Ensure your church morning tea is ethical! Only use ethically certified tea, coffee and chocolate, such as Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance, to ensure you are not supporting child or exploitative labour in developing countries. This is a practical example of how our everyday choices can help to combat human trafficking and slavery. Visit donttradelives.com.au for more about ethical consumerism.
- Watch: Show the Abolitionist Sunday Video Clip (available online or DVD resource) to your church community and use it to promote action, prayer and reflection. World Vision can also help you arrange movie screenings like Amazing Grace or Call and Response. Contact us by email to find out more – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Share: How can your community help end this injustice? Involve your local community in an event or activity such as a movie screening or “ethical” morning tea.