27 million slaves: facts you need to know w/ Justin Dillion

(Approx. 2 min read / 9 min video)

Today more slaves are in bondage than were bartered in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Of course our worlds highest ever population is correlative to this sum, still, the estimated 27 million humans that can be bought and sold at a median of 300 USD horrifies me. Here are the facts you need to know to rise against:

I met the director of Call+Response, Justin Dillon, before the London screening of the rockumentary. I was curious to find out what prompted the California native to travel the world for the last few years to spread awareness about the world fastest growing and second largest illicit trade, human trafficking.

Earlier this year I had no idea that human trafficking had surpassed the arms trade with an est. 32 to 36 billion USD annual income, right behind the drug trade. Justin voiced his frustrations that mainstream media was not giving this worldwide crisis enough of a spotlight.

“The thing that we need to understand is that slavery isn’t sweatshops, this isn’t not being paid well, this isn’t prostitution for a low wage; this IS people being forced to work, under the threat of violence.” – Justin

After the 5 minute mark Justin gave an example of how slavery could happen in western civilization: Here’s the way one former pimp was able to describe whether or not he was going to be able to trick a girl into prostitution while trolling a mall. He would go up to them and say, ‘Gosh, you look really pretty,’ and if she would look him straight in the eye and say thank you, he would keep going. It’s any kind of weakness you can find.

At the 7:45 min mark I asked him what he wanted to be remembered for; he gave one of the best responses I’ve heard yet. Including: “…to help people address their own poverty of purpose and actually turn that into fighting poverty of a different type…”

I believe that becoming aware of the evil that’s happening out in the world is important for gratitude. When I’m having a rougher day or complain about some petty issue it makes me shake my head and shut up. Out there are families who are trapped on brick farms under debt slavery, generations working on cocoa fields that can never leave, young girls stuck in underground brothels who never see the light of day “servicing” dozens of clients a day and all other horrors that happen in the name of slavery.

It makes me realize I do not have the time or luxury to ever be bored or stay complacent. There is so much in the world to stand for, sometimes it is overwhelming how much needs fixing but I think it is important to pick something that works best with your talents and dig in. And in the case of Justin, a call for justice seems to be his response.

If this is something you would like to investigate, check out Justin’s website Call+Response to learn of actual ways you can make a difference.