Sunday, June 27, 2010

Unearthed Pictures

This is a serious post, but I think it's really important cause and I want people to know about it. My friend Rachel recently began working for an organization called Unearthed Pictures. Unearthed Pictures is a non-profit organization that exists to bring light issues such as human trafficking. Human trafficking is one of those things that we all know exists, but I don't think we realize just how prevalent it is (even in our own country)! Here are some statistics that should shock you:
  • 27 million people are enslaved today. 80% of them are women and 50% of them are children.
  • A woman in South Africa has a better chance of being raped than learning to read.
That is insane and unacceptable (to say the least)! When Unearthed first visited my church, they mentioned the fact that during the 2010 World Cup, South Africa would be legalizing prostitution.

I've often thought about the pros and cons of legalized prostitution. In America, prostitution is legal in Nevada and it is highly regulated. I don't want to say that seems like a "good idea" but at least the women get tested regularly, etc. Not to mention, if prostitution is legal, they have to pay taxes. In a lot of ways that seems to be a logical way to regulate an industry that appears to have a never-ending stream of customers. As long as these women are aware of what they're doing, making a conscious decision to sell their bodies, it's fine, right? That may be the attitude taken by many Americans when they hear about the plans to legalize prostitution in South Africa during the World Cup. However, there are a number of problems:
  • This legalized prostitution includes children of all ages.
  • Many of the women and children are forced into prositution. They are kidnapped and or tricked into going with the people who will enslave them. They are beaten, raped and drugged into submission.
  • A large number of people in Africa (particularly in the sex industry) have HIV or AIDS. You'd think that would be enough to deter people from paying for sex there--but it doesn't.
It is estimated that as many as 40,000 prostitutes could be taken to South Africa during the World Cup (supply and demand, right?). I can't even imagine the issue they'll have when they attempt to make prostitution illegal again, after the games. I'm sure that'll go over well.

To find out how you can help Unearthed Pictures, visit their website. You can also become a fan of them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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