Media's Place in Ending Trafficking
By Miia da Silva, WOH Europe and CAMENA regional coordinator
Slavery is a thing of the past, right? Wrong. Even today, there are approximately 50 million people living under slavery. One of the most prominent forms of modern-day slavery is human trafficking, and within that, millions of women worldwide get trafficked into forced sex work.
A 2023 report by the U.S. Department of State estimates that out of 44,722 victims trafficked to Germany in 2021 alone, 93% were women. But Germany is not an exception. Statistics like these about Germany paint a picture of the challenge that all more prosperous EU countries face and portrays the unfortunate yet understandable reality of the demand for female prostitutes as well as the pull of victims from poor countries to rich ones. Most European-born victims are from Bulgaria and Romania. In Bulgaria, for example, people who have little education and income, children who are in residential care, the homeless, and women in the Roma minority group are most at risk of being trafficked.
There is no simple fix to the complex and multifaceted issue of human trafficking. That is why partnership in fighting this major injustice becomes crucial. We at TWR Women of Hope don’t have all the answers but get to provide a part of the solution through Hidden Treasures: using media to share the gospel with trafficked women
There are many reasons why media are helpful tools not only in reaching out to women but also in assisting with the healing process. The main reasons are: 1) a lot of trafficking victims (being from poor communities) can’t read, so consuming audio is a more realistic option to learning about Jesus; 2) media can be consumed in secret or privacy, out of sight of the oppressors.
Hidden Treasures has developed a 10-episode audio drama that seeks to encourage listeners to escape from their “brothel prisons.” But escape isn’t the end of the journey; it is often only the beginning of a challenging healing process. Now, we are in the midst of producing a second series that has a different format and focuses on worship music. This series is intended for women who have only begun their process of healing and recovery. Through worship music and encouraging words of trafficked survivors and the Bible, we hope to aid in the process of the development of a survivor’s new identity in Christ. Please pray that God will give our team the wisdom and guidance we need in developing this new series.