What exactly is justice? Justice seems to be the obtaining of or the security of a person’s rights.  But then what exactly is a “right”? What exactly is it that we feel we have rights to? Maybe what comes to mind here is freedom of speech, or the choice of religion or the right to an attorney.  What are my “rights” as an American vs. my rights as a human being and should they be different?  I have opinions, not necessarily answers, to all these questions but really it’s just a bunch of educated guesses.  The UN has made its attempts, but aside from God no one really has the authority to declare something officially right or wrong.  Civilized societies though have tried to get as close as possible to what they feel is universally sound– and I suppose that’s about all anyone can ask.

I’m not a politician or a law-maker.  I’m not a judge who makes life or death rulings on criminal cases.  I’m not a lawyer; I’m not an expert on justice or a person’s legal rights.  What I can attest to are the instances in my life where I truly felt that my rights had been abolished and my justice abandoned.  There’s this list of basic human rights that the United Nations complied back in 1948… reading through it my heart sinks.  Usually I’d think of the UN’s work and I’d think of poor, starving children in the middle of Africa.  Even with my own background I find myself assuming that they’re the only ones needing protection for their basic freedoms.  Wow, how wrong I am.  As I read through this list I realize how many of my basic human rights were taken away through trafficking. 1. no one should be held in slavery 2. no one shall be subject to torture 3. everyone has the right to an effective remedy 4. freedom of movement 5. freedom of expression 6. favorable work conditions 7. the right to take a freakin’ break from those work conditions… on and on and on these “rights” are listed that I, nor my trafficked sisters, had access to during our abuse.  This is absurd.

There’s something about seeing an idea in print that really gets me going. For me, to see a thought in print is to see it with an offical seal of approval and a bullhorn.  If these rights were important enough for multiple countries to agree on over 50 years ago to represent every human on earth from now until eternity, than we should be incensed when they’re not upheld as sacred.  It adds a level of validity to my pain.  Not only was I in an abusive situation by my very right to being human was violated. (Ugggghh!)

Aside from this rant, what I can say is all of this “lost justice” transcends into joy when some of those rights begin to return.  A friend of mine and fellow survivor let me know last week that her trafficker is going to plead guilty to his crimes of kidnapping, pimping, trafficking, abuse, etc.  This is such great news and honestly so, so rare.  Of course, a part of me is terribly jealous because I’m certain I’ll never see a similar plea from my trafficker, but the overwhelming notion is certainly satisfaction.  Even though this isn’t my own case I still count it as a divine victory for a friend and a general, beautiful, victory for humanity.  Moving forward, let’s remember what it takes to be basically human and let’s work to uphold that humanity.

May this blog serve as an education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as an encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

Leave a comment


  1. Thank you so much for your constant vulnerability, honesty, and openness in your blogs. God has given me a passion to spend my life working towards abolishing modern day slavery and it is very humbling and sobering to hear such personal testimonies, such as the ones you share in your blog. Thank you!

    • Mary – thank YOU! It really is a pleasure for me to be writing these posts and SUCH a blessing that people are actually reading them!! Thanks for your support!

  2. Steph

     /  November 28, 2011

    Amen. We celebrate every victory over justice, knowing that one day, it will all be made right……Love Habakkuk – He was the only prophet who ever questioned God, instead of just delivering a message. His questions to God were all about injustice, and his name means “embraced by God”. God embraces our pleas and questions about the unjust things that break our hearts. God’s final answer was that He gave Habakkuk a vision of the justice He WILL be bringing to the earth in the end and told him to wait for it! We are waiting for that day, and in the meantime, we are fighting for justice every chance we get….including our own healing. I think there is so much justice in my freedom and healing. Even though my trafficker will also never be brought to earthly justice, I can experience a portion of justice just by fighting for my own healing; the rest will come later. 🙂 And most days, I am ok with that.


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