Each year force and fraud bring as many as a million innocent victims into the international sex industry. There is a growing movement to oppose this horrendous degradation of women and children. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) joins with others to condemn and organize to end this travesty.
The NAE Washington Office for Government Affairs reports the following: there may be as many as 800,000 Thai children trafficked into prostitution (the official Thai government figure is 60,000); a half million women are trafficked each year from Russia and the Newly Independent States; traffickers reportedly sell Asian women to North American brothels for $16,000 each; children from Mexico have been trafficked by several rings into brothels in our own country.
This illegal and immoral trafficking is a violation of the sanctity of life and of the God-given dignity and integrity of human persons. The National Association of Evangelicals therefore:
1. Urges the evangelical community to educate itself as it has done regarding international religious persecution and to get involved to stop this crime of human degradation.
2. Commends the Women’s Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship for its emphasis on halting the abuse of women and urges the Commission to support the campaign to stop sex trafficking.
3. Recognizes those origins of this problem that lie in poverty as well as vice, and applauds the excellent work of World Relief, in children’s evangelism and micro-enterprise development among families at risk in Cambodia. NAE urges its subsidiary to expand immediately these initiatives to other countries where these problems are endemic.
4. Recommends that churches establish and support programs for victim assistance, both in the U.S. and abroad, which include creating shelters and rehabilitation programs that demonstrate God’s compassion and love for all people.
5. Supports appropriate federal legislation that would seek to end sex trafficking by punishing those responsible. Penalties should be considered that punish violators in a just manner and to serve as a deterrent. Such legislation may also include incentives to countries to take appropriate actions (e.g. criminalizing and punishing offenders).