READ PASSAGE | Exodus 1:6-22
Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.
Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”
Slavery is not a new problem. It may be an uneasy part of human history, but we don’t have to let injustice like this go on forever. God once raised up Moses to lead his people out of slavery and God is still raising up organizations of people like International Justice Mission and Jai Bhim Vikas Shikshan Sansthan to do the same.
READ ARTICLE | Sensitive Officials and IJM’s Partner NGO Rescue 40 from Bondage at a Brick Kiln | Delhi, India | May 23, 2017
Last month, IJM’s trained partner organization Jai Bhim Vikas Shikshan Sansthan (JBVSS) worked with government officials in the state of Rajasthan to rescue 40 people from bonded labor slavery at a sweltering brick kiln. Today, these laborers have returned home safely and are beginning new lives in freedom.
These families had been trafficked from Bihar—a state on the other side of India, near Nepal and Bangladesh. Every day, they were forced to mold and haul thousands of heavy clay bricks in the hot sun, all under the control of a slave owner. Nineteen children were trapped along with their parents, and ten of these children (some as young as 7) were forced to work as well. One brave 10-year-old girl told government officials about the long days she spent sprinkling hot ash over the mud bricks to help them dry quickly.
JBVSS had discovered the dangerous plight these families were facing and worked with authorities for three days to plan a safe and secure rescue operation. In many parts of India, bonded labor has been viewed as a mere labor rights issue and not as a crime. But these officials were proactive, professional and sensitive to the victims throughout the process. IJM Delhi staff was on hand to assist and guide JBVSS and local authorities as they explained the rescue to the families, brought them to safety, and began a careful interviewing process to document their stories. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate—who oversaw the operation—ensured the laborers were given warm meals and brought staff from a local hospital to conduct their medical check-ups.
Once evidence was collected and statements were complete, the Magistrate arranged funds for each family to help them return to their home villages. JBVSS staff will work with officials on any legal follow-up and arrests related to the case. JBVSS distributed initial rehabilitation funds and toolkits to the survivors and then accompanied them back to their home villages so they can re-start life in freedom. JBVSS staff also informed local leaders about the situation, which will help these families re-settle more safely and access various government programs to help in their ongoing rehabilitation. JBVSS will also connect them to a local NGO partner who can help them get back on their feet.
TO DO | Pray for International Justice Mission and Jai Bhim Vikas Shikshan Sansthan
IJM has been collaborating with local authorities to rescue and restore bonded labor slaves in India since 2001. In 2012, they launched a new project, based in Delhi, to partner with like-minded organizations across the country, share expertise, and replicate success in addressing bonded labor slavery and building government capacity. IJM now partners with Jai Bhim Vikas Shikshan Sansthan (JBVSS), an organization that has been protecting and empowering vulnerable women, children and low-caste communities since 1993. Pray for this partnership and the continual rescue of those enslaved in India.
Article by IJM Media Staff | South Fellowship Church