12 years as a modern-day slave

I just watched 12 years a slave.  Of course, after watch­ing it I couldn’t sleep (my poor hus­band BUT he should know bet­ter by now — this hap­pens every time we watch even a slightly vio­lent, dra­matic, intense or chal­leng­ing movie, — when will he learn to just stick with Dis­ney G’s ??).  After watch­ing it my mind was going 100 miles an hour wrestling with these questions:

Why does evil exist? How can peo­ple be so evil? How can we be so com­pla­cent and passive?
How is it pos­si­ble that this was hap­pen­ing not that long ago — prac­ti­cally my great-grandparents generation!?
How can peo­ple just sit by and do noth­ing, when atro­cious things like this are happening?

All this even­tu­ally led to a an inter­nal question -

What morally wrong, atro­cious and evil things are hap­pen­ing in the world today and what am I doing about them?

Fol­lowed by a prayer that God would open my eyes to what­ever it maybe and move me into a posi­tion to do bat­tle.  Before I even fin­ished pray­ing, the answer came because I already knew the answer, I had even writ­ten about it before.


Today, there are between 21–30 mil­lion slaves in the world. [1] These are real peo­ple, with real faces, and real hopes and dreams and that are trapped in a sys­tem of exploita­tion they can’t escape.

Slavery Fact Sheet

What are modern-day slaves doing?

I don’t want to be the per­son who sim­ply casts a sym­pa­thetic glance and lets myself off the hook because I per­son­ally don’t own slaves.  I want to be the per­son who does some­thing.  What can I do? What can you do?

Start by learn­ing the facts -

Free the Slaves — This site pro­vides the most com­pre­hen­sive pic­ture of modern-day slav­ery and pro­vides action steps that we can take to end slavery.

Slav­ery Foot­print — Take this quiz and see how many slaves work for you, then make a goal to reduce this num­ber by 2015. This site is very cool and very eye-opening, if you have already done the quiz, I rec­om­mend tak­ing it again, it is a good reminder of the real­ity of our world. Don’t for­get to read the facts as you go along.

Slavery Footprint

Read these reports — Forced Labor in the United States, The Mod­ern Churches Oppor­tu­nity to End Slav­ery, Again, Slav­ery Map,

Become a con­scious consumer -

Demand prod­ucts that are Slav­ery Free!  Seri­ously, WHY WOULD WE NOT?  The basic law of eco­nom­ics applies here too, if we demand slav­ery free prod­ucts and are will­ing to seek them out, com­pa­nies will respond. Check out these apps and sites which make under­stand­ing the impli­ca­tions behind your prod­ucts easier:

Set captives free

The Spirit of the Lord, the Eter­nal, is on me.  The Lord has appointed me for a spe­cial pur­poseHe has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to repair bro­ken hearts, And to declare to those who are held cap­tive and bound in prison,“Be free from your impris­on­ment!”


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1. U.N. Inter­na­tional Labor Orga­ni­za­tion Global Esti­mate of Forced Labor 2012 — http://www.ilo.org/washington/WCMS_182004/lang–en/index.htm


About Emily Betzler

Hi, I'm Emily Betzler. I'm a mother, wife, friend, and lover of life. I'm passionate about using my life and specifically my purchases/finances to make this world a more beautiful place.


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