Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Ugly Truth

Ray of Hope

Clint and I have been aware of sex trafficking since before we married through the sad story of a friend. It is a real problem affecting real people. We have tried bringing it up in Christians circles, but the truth is, most don't want to hear it. They'd rather ignore it than admit it happens and respond to it. Whether we ignore it or not, it's an ugly reality for far too many. It shouldn't happen, but does. As Christians and fellow humans, we need to take action against it.

Sex trafficking is a growing global enterprise driven by deception, coercion and force. Traffickers transport or detain their victims for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. This trade in rape for profit thrives in the absence of robust law enforcement to ensure the protection of the law for vulnerable children and women.  

After drug dealing, human trafficking (both sex trafficking and
trafficking for forced labor) is tied with the illegal arms industry as the 
second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest 
growing. (U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services)
Worldwide, there are nearly two million children in
the commercial sex trade. (UNICEF)
There are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 children, women and men
trafficked across international borders annually. (U.S. Department of State)
Approximately 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and
girls, and up to 50 percent are minors. (U.S. Department of State)
The total market value of illicit human trafficking is
estimated to be in excess of $32 billion. (U.N.)
Sex trafficking is an engine of the global AIDS epidemic.
(U.S. Department of State)


International Justice Mission’s first priority in its anti-trafficking casework is to secure the protection of the law for trafficked women and children forced into commercial sexual activity. IJM investigators spend hundreds of hours gathering and documenting undercover evidence of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Using this evidence, IJM staffmembers then partner with local authorities to rescue victims from situations of ongoing abuse and ensure that they have access to aftercare services to meet their vital needs. IJM lawyers work alongside local authorities to secure the conviction and sentencing of traffickers and other perpetrators.

Sex trafficking will endure as long as it remains a profitable criminal enterprise. By freeing victims and prosecuting their perpetrators, IJM operations increase the risk and decrease the profitability of trafficking for those who would commit this crime. IJM works to combat sex trafficking in Bolivia, India, Cambodia and the Philippines. IJM investigations have resulted in freedom for more than 1,000 girls and women held by force in the commercial sex trade.

To learn more, visit IMJ.
To help, donate whatever you can here.