In recent testimony before the U.S. Senate, multi-platinum Christian singer Natalie Grant urged lawmakers to continue the fight against human trafficking. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, invited Grant to share how she became involved with the anti-slavery movement.
Grant’s November 28 testimony, which she shared via social media, describes how learning of the issue “forever wrecked” her life. Back in 2004, the singer first heard about the problem while watching Law & Order. Hearing that the TV episode was ripped from the headlines, Grant began searching the Internet.
“That was the first time I realized that slavery still exists in this country,” she said. “As a member of a faith-based music community, I was deeply troubled that I had never heard of this issue before. I was deeply troubled that people in the church were not talking about ‘the least of these,’ which…were being ravaged in this way.”
Natalie Grant Is Committed to Ending the Problem
Grant traveled to India to see how human trafficking was impacting children. “I have never been able to speak about this issue in 14 years without weeping,” she told the committee in emotional testimony. She described seeing “children for sale on the street,” young girls who needed reconstructive surgery, a girl in a cage who seemed “resigned to the fact that this was her reality,” and a rope used to restrain a toddler while her teenage mother was sexually violated.
“I knew that in that moment this issue demanded my attention and my commitment,” Grant told the committee. She decided to use her musical platform to spread word about the horrors of modern-day slavery. “If I didn’t know anything about it, chances are most other people didn’t know about it either,” she figured.
To raise funds for an after-care facility in India, Grant launched Abolition International in 2006. Eight years later, that group merged with U.K.-based Transitions Global to form Hope for Justice. The Nashville-based organization has 22 offices in eight countries across four continents. Hope for Justice rescued 37,000 children from human trafficking last year alone, Grant told the committee.
Human trafficking became even more important to the singer after she became the mother of three daughters. It breaks her heart, Grant says, that her girls live in a world “where slavery still exists, where someone’s daughters, someone’s sisters, someone’s niece, someone’s granddaughter is being ravaged day in and day out.”
We All “can do something to make a difference”
Although Grant works on a large scale to address the problem, she emphasized that we all have a voice. “Every single one of us can do something to make a difference,” she said. “I commit my life to Proverbs 31:8, which says, ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Ensure justice for those being crushed.’ I have seen those who are crushed, and I say that together we must do whatever it takes to give them justice.”
Grant told the committee that slavery “demands your attention and commitment.” Senator Corker initiated a 2016 law that now operates as the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. In 2017, the U.S. contributed $25 million to the fund, which aims to make slavery economically unprofitable.