The exploitation of women, children, and men have been around for many years. The beginning of human trafficking started in 1200-1600. European people were traded in Africa to the Portugal people. Another name for this at the time was “White Slavery.” In the 2000s an American charity organization of Anti-slavery International reported that sex trafficking generates $32 billion dollars every year . Just recently the term was changed to “human sex trafficking.” Sex trafficking is the force of an adult or minor to cause a commercial illegal sex act. Human sex traffickers target populations are younger females and males, ages fourteen to eighteen, young children, and just recently the LGBT community. Traffickers find victims through social networks, neighborhoods, clubs or bars, internet, and schools. All these places capture minors and/or adults when they’re most vulnerable. According to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the highest reported trafficking origins are in Russia and China, the reason for that is because of the high poverty rate. The second highest is in Mexico and Brazil. The United States comes in at the lowest for trafficking. However, the rate at which trafficking is growing continues to climb, even in the U.S. . Although this type of industry is illegal, it still exists. Considering the information above, sex trafficking is a growing social problem in all countries and aspects of life.
The few key statistics from 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of 34,700 sex trafficking cases inside the United States alone. In 2017, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 7 runaways reported to them were sex trafficking victims. The International Labor Organization says that there are around 4.8 million people trapped in sexual exploitation around the world. These statistics are constantly growing and has hit home for us in Greenville. Greenville is connected by Highway 85 between Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. These two cities are the main places that traffickers go to pick up and drop off victims. I attended the first community awareness event of this year, called Human Trafficking in the Upstate, sponsored by Greenville Health System. I gained more knowledge on how to identify a victim, what the industry does, and how fast this industry is growing around us. Some facts I learned was that we need to first identify victims, so we will have more survivors. As Christians, we should be aware of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children hotline/website and how to get involved with this agency. Christians should be advocates of sex trafficking in churches. In 2012, there was a non-profit organization developed called SWITCH in Greenville, South Carolina. SWITCH’S mission is to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Upstate of South Carolina through awareness, prevention, fighting demand, intervention, and restoration. Switch is a faith-based organization, so you can freely spread the gospel. Although, if a victim comes in and they’re not Christian, you cannot force your belief on them. With that information, how do Christians respond and how can we help?
Human Sex Trafficking is very common in our society today, and has many people alert, as we should be. This type of crime is an offense to the sanctity of human lives. All human beings are made in the image of God and that alone gives us value in his eyes. It is, therefore, a sin against God to force another human into slavery, whether it be for sex or for labor. In Exodus 21:6 and 1 Timothy 1:10 God talks about master and slaves of the sexually immoral and for those who practice homosexuality. The word “sex” used in a secular context shows how powerful sex is. God created sex to be great pleasure between a married man and woman. It was created for good and it has been twisted into something wicked. Christians should remind themselves that there are many different forms of sexual immorality that changes God’s intentions for marriage. It is important for Christians to also realize that porn and sex trafficking go hand in hand. More than half of the women, girls, and boys in the porn industry are victims of sex trafficking. In the big scheme of things, people who watch porn could also be involved in sex trafficking . Humans are to be pure, until marriage, according to the bible.
Another biblical worldview of sex trafficking is that it is bondage to sin. Many female victims are convinced and brainwashed that their “pimp” is their boyfriend and that they deeply love them. Which this is not true, the guy is a slave master. These victims struggle with sin, the sin of bondage because they just want to feel a sense of belonging. Your flesh and the devil are not your friends. Slavery was allowed during the bible times according to Ephesians 6. In Colossians 3:22-24 Paul did encourage slaves to submit to their masters. In Romans 6:15-23 it talks about how we are all servants of sin, but through God, we are free from sin. We become servants of God and have everlasting life. Also in Galatians 5:1 it says “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The world, the flesh, and the devil are not your friends; they don’t want the best for you . God should be your master; he loves you and wants the best for us.
Sex trafficking proves that our world needs the gospel. This industry is evil. Surprisingly, sex trafficking is a natural sinful thing in our own lives as well. We all are guilty of lust and selfishness, which both are a big part of this industry. Jesus Christ came into this world as a slave and suffered on the cross and rose on the third day, to save us from our sins. Jesus was an old slave of sin and was adopted by our loving Heavenly Father. The gospel is not only needed for the victims but for the perpetrators too.
The last biblical worldview is that sex trafficking will be completely destroyed when Jesus returns. As human beings, we want justice for the victims; this will take care of them temporarily. We support organizations such as SWITCH that are working to help provide needs for victims and prosecute those who are involved in the industry of sex trafficking. We should all have hope in knowing that God of the universe is coming back to save us from this fallen world. Unbelievers may not believe that Jesus is coming back and have no hope of when this torture will end. In Revelation 20:4 it explains that God will wipe away our tears and there will be no mourning or crying or pain anymore .
In conclusion, Sex trafficking is a worldwide issue that has been around for many years and will continue until Jesus comes back. In the meantime, we as Christians should do everything in our power to prosecute and help survivors. Many victims in this industry, probably do not think God exists, just for the fact that they’re going through torture that doesn’t seem to end. At the beginning, I mentioned a few key statistics on sex trafficking to bring light on how significant this topic is. From a biblical worldview, I explained that sex trafficking is an offense to the sanctity of human lives, the bondage of sin, an evil industry that needs the gospel, and it will be destroyed when Jesus comes back. Each of these victims are humans that were made in God’s image. Sex trafficking is happening all around us and it starts with people, especially Christians, to bring awareness and to show God’s love to those who need it the most. In Psalms 82:4 God says, “Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”