Between 40 and 45 million slaves are working today around the globe, and one Winnipegger is wanting to shine a light on that fact and get you to help bring it to an end.
David Pollendine is the Director of Development & Mobilization for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut for International Justice Mission Canada (IJM).
The organization works to combat human trafficking and slavery around the globe.
For Pollendine, he says that it was Jesus' example that drew him to the work that he does. "(Jesus) walked the talk, he went around and was a man of justice and mercy and he brought the two together."
Pollendine hopes that others would be drawn to partner with IJM and their work. IJM actively rescues people from slavery and trafficking in several countries, working in partnership with local authorities and agencies.
"When you rescue someone ... you restore them"
While many people might think of the sex industry when first hearing the words "human trafficking" there are many other industries which enslave children as young as five years old. The fishing and shrimp industries in Africa and southeast Asia are just one example of industries notorious for slavery.
IJM doesn't just rescue people from captivity, however. The organization remains by the rescued people, helping them navigate the court system and receive care. The process can take years, Pollendine says.
Pollendine says taking care of rescued victims is a years-long process. "It's about walking with victims of violence. It's a long haul. It means going to court many many times . . . sometimes the witnesses don't show up and so the court is adjourned for months, sometimes even longer. So it's the grind - it's the day in and day out."
IJM walks alongside victims throughout this process as a means of helping victims find complete healing. "When you rescue someone, you don't just rescue them, you restore them. In fact, that person is trapped in slavery if you don't restore them. They might not be physically trapped, but they're going to be emotionally still trapped. Restoration is so important."
The organization relies on experts such as trauma counsellors to help the victims find restoration. You can find out more about becoming a Freedom Partner, here.