Trafficking in persons, especially women and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation, is quickly becoming the world’s fastest growing industry and most profitable criminal activity.
Virtually every nation in the world is engaged to some extent in this tragic trade, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNICEF estimates that one and a half million children alone are forced, sold, abducted, or coerced into the commercial sex trade annually. Their average age worldwide is 13 years old.
Estimates of women and children trafficked across international borders each year range from 800,000 to four million. The U.S. State Department estimates that as many as 18,500 men, women, and children are trafficked into the U.S. each year, many for sexual exploitation (2004).
From Stephanie Goins, PhD, who has done extensive research on Child Soldiers in Africa:
Human trafficking has been described as modern day slavery. Trafficking is connected to the illegal arms industry, as the second largest criminal industry in the world today. Approximately 27 million people are currently in bondage, more than twice the number of Africans taken in slavery the entire time slavery was happening in the 18th and 19th centuries.
There are ways to become informed and involved in this issue. Check out this website; you may be exposed to more than you care to know.
For instance, did you know that nearly 25% of all sex tourists are Americans! We, as responsible members of God’s family, must do what we can to stand up against this injustice and immorality. May God move us to become informed, to pray, and to take action.
MINISTRIES WORKING WITH TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH
- Freedom Collaborative is a centralized community focused on fighting exploitation, human trafficking and slavery. It includes contribution from major organizations and agencies across the world, but also gives a greater voice to the grassroots efforts done in individual communities.
- Project Rescue is a ministry to women and children or the Assemblies of God. Beth and David Grant are the directors, they help coordinate and oversee work in India, Nepal, and Moldova. Beth Grant has written extensively on intervention and response to women trapped in sexual exploitation. See their resource page for more information.
- ICAP (International Christian Alliance on Prostitution) sponsors conferences and events which network and equip grassroots practitioners who work to prevent trafficking. In October 2010, I attended the international conference in Moldova and presented a plenary paper (available on request). Beginning of Life in Moldova hosted the conference and posted this report.
See our page on children at risk under the populations at risk tab for more information.
- Faith Alliance Against Sexual Trafficking
- This is an excellent place to start broader research into faith-based activism in this field.
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
- International Center to Combat Exploitation of Children
- Ranbows of Hope: From Children in Crisis to Children in Christ
- Human Trafficking: A Web Resource
- Stop the Traffik
- PACE: Parents Against Child Sexual Trafficking (formerly CROP: the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping)
- Human Rights Watch Report (this is good information, but it was put out in 2001 so may be a bit out of date.)
- Helping the Girl Child
Gender discrimination is manifested in many ways, such as conferring more affection on a son or, in extreme cases, abandonment and female infanticide. As girls grow up, many of them will be subjected to early marriages leading to early pregnancies. This has negative effects on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, as well as on the well-being of their infants.
Not a Choice, Not a Job
by Janice G. Raymond
Amazon Review: “Janice Raymond has uncovered, analyzed, and exposed one of the biggest legislative scandals since the slave trade that of state-sanctioned prostitution. Her research is impeccable, and her conclusion that the international sex trade be seen as a human rights atrocity should be taken on board by every politician, policymaker, and law enforcer around the world.” — Julie Bindel, journalist, author, and social commentator for the “Guardian” and other publications
Sex Trafficking: The Global Market in Women and Children
by Kathrine Farr
Amazon Review: One million people are trafficked into the sex industry each year. In this timely and provocative study, Kathryn Farr documents the macro and micro impact of trafficking women and children into this industry on a global scale. Farr looks not only at the victims themselves, but also at the sex trade’s main players, organized crime structure, economic conditions, and role in which various militaries perpetuate its demand. Sex Trafficking can be incorporated into a variety of courses in sociology, social problems, culture and sexuality, history, and women’s studies.