Yesterday marked the seventh year of National Shine a Light on Slavery Day, a national holiday that serves to further our awareness of the fastest-growing organized crime in the world. NCF has hundreds of anti-slavery and ant-human-trafficking organizations on our website. Find profiles of these organizations by logging into your Giving Fund, or opening one today.
Maybe you’ve seen a celebrity, pastor, politician, or friend with a red X on their hand and wondered what it’s all about.
The red X is part of the “END IT Movement” to shine a light on modern-day slavery, and Thursday marks the seventh annual “Shine a Light on Slavery Day,” where hundreds of thousands of people use their voice and platform to speak for those in slavery who can’t speak for themselves.
“Modern slavery is as vast and as brutal as it has ever been, but one thing is new: we now know how to stop it for good,” Gary Haugen, International Justice Mission CEO and keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, told the audience Thursday morning. Haugen, wearing a red X pin, pointed to the END IT Movement, started by students at Passion Conference seven years ago.
“You are truly doing the Lord’s work,” President Trump said at the breakfast about Haugen and IJM “rescuing people from the bondage of human trafficking.” He added: “and as you know our administration is doing everything we can to make your work easier … Together, we will end the scourge of modern-day slavery.”
On Tuesday night, Trump highlighted victims of sex trafficking and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who’ve rescued them at the U.S.-Mexico border during his State of the Union address. Trump recognized ICE agent, Elvin Hernandez, for his work catching 80 traffickers, saving more than 150 victims – including 45 minors – and reuniting 19 children with their mothers.
This came just two days before Super Bowl LIII, one of the largest hubs for human trafficking. This year the FBI arrested 169 people and rescued 18 victims in an 11-day anti-sex trafficking sting in the very city where the END IT Movement began seven years ago. Several leaders banded together in 2013 in Atlanta as part of the Passion Conference and realized that “most of the world knew nothing about the largest human rights issue of its time.”