Listening to ABC radio this week, I heard an interview with a police officer who was researching an alarming development in the sex industry in Queensland mining towns. He said there was an increasing number of young women from overseas who were working in prostitution – but not necessarily willingly.
The women were controlled, sometimes physically, but more often through other forms of pressure (such of threats to family at home.) The police officer explained that these victims were reluctant to seek police help, because in their home countries, police were often a part of the problem.
We tend to think of slavery as something that happened in the past or might happen in other places. But slavery is simply forcing someone to work against their will, to benefit other people. The exploitation seems to happen anywhere there are some people with lots of power or money, and people who have little power or money. In the current mining boom, there’s lots of people with money, which has attracted the kind of predators who will exploit people, in order to get some of that money. It’s an evil that is alive and well in our world, and even in our state.
It’s a sad statement on our society that, as advanced as we often like to think that we are, money is still valued far more highly than the needs of human beings.
Jesus’ teaching about loving our neighbour is still a radical way to see the world.
Grace and peace