the olympic dark side

Tonight, in Vancouver, the 2010 Winter Olympics begins with its opening ceremony and attending festivities. Summer or winter makes no difference; I always enjoy watching Olympic competition. It’s hard not to get excited and cheer for some of our nation’s best athletes. Who doesn’t want to cheer for somebody who is cross-country skiing and shooting a high-powered rifle?
But recently the Olympics became a little less glamorous to me. Why? I learned of the Olympic’s dirty little secret. Believe or not, the Olympic venue is a hot-bed for human rights violations. According to a report from the Future Project, an organization dedicated to the eradication of human sex trafficking [the practice of coercing people against their will into the sex trade], the possibility of sex trafficking rises exponentially at international sporting events like the Olympics. The report says the number of human trafficking victims almost doubled in Greece [2004] and hasn’t returned to pre-04 levels. Of the 600,000 – 800,000 people trafficked across international borders each year, 70% are female and 50% of the rest are children.
Events like the Olympics make it easier to bring visitors into the country who may be unwilling victims of the sex trade. There’s also an increase demand for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation by attendees. Vancouver happens to be a city noted for traffickers; a 2007 US State Department report said there were many victims, particularly from South Korea, who get sent through Vancouver before being trafficked into the US. Apparently, Sam Sullivan [mayor of Vancouver] is unconcerned. He recently remarked that he doesn’t object to the idea of a legalized “co-op” brothel in the city.
This isn’t Vancouver’s problem alone. Every day in and around Chicago, 24,000 women are trafficked against their will in the sex trade.
This year, I will watch the Olympics a little differently. It is sad how even our world’s best attempt at healthy peaceful camaraderie is tainted by the darker side of human depravity.
For more information on this global problem, go to Human Trafficking Search.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
February 2010
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"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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