Recently I read an article on the Guardian website titled, “British public bought £14bn of goods made by slaves in 2017, claims report”.
£14billion. In case, like me, you can’t comprehend that number, it’s £14 with nine 0s after it… £14,000,000,000.
The article went on to say that according to a UN report, it is estimated that today 40.3 million people live in conditions of slavery.
40.3 million people are living right now, as you read this, in slavery. Living without freedom, trapped by violence, fear and corruption.
I can’t get my head around either of these numbers. They’re too big.
For the British public to have spent such a colossal amount of money on items which have been made by slaves highlights that there are people in forced-labour, working like slaves, in a huge number of companies and industries around our world.
The article listed “electronics, garments, fish, chocolate and sugar” as some of the most commonly bought goods which will potentially have come from slave labour.
I think the reason I can’t fully get my head around the numbers in the article is because the 40.3million isn’t just a number or a statistic.
It’s a group of people.
A group of people with names, families and friends.
People created by God.
People created by God, with gifts, talents and skills.
People created by God so that they might live life to its fullest.
They were not created to live a life of darkness, fear or pain. This is not God’s plan for His people.
I came across this article on Twitter. A few tweets after it, I saw news from one of WDR’s partners, IJM UK: “A family of 11 has been rescued from slavery after being trapped on a farm for four years.”
Yes, 11 is a small number against a backdrop of 40.3 billion, but isn’t it a start?!
IJM are able to share news daily of people who have been rescued from slavery. They are at work around the world to challenge the root causes of injustice and corruption which is often so entrenched in political and judicial systems.
WDR’s vision is to see all people fulfil their God-given potential. With such a huge number of people trapped in slavery, it is great that we (WDR) can partner with IJM in the fight. Together continue to seek after God’s heart for justice and to see His people free.