Speak Up With Monica
EXPLOITING CHILDREN SERIES, No. 1
According to the Congressional Research Service Informing the legislative debate since 1914________________________________________
Kristin Finlea Specialist in Domestic Security
Adrienne L. Fernandez–Alcantara Specialist in Social Policy
Alison Siskin Specialist in Immigration Policy
January 28, 2015 Congressional Research Service www.crs.gov R41878
Federal law does not define sex trafficking per se. However, in the “severe forms of trafficking in persons,” as defined in the victims of Trafficking and Violence Act of 2000 (TVPA, P.L. 106-386) encompasses sex trafficking. “Severe forms of trafficking in persons” refers, in part, “(s)ex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform the such an act has not attained 18 years of age…. “Experts generally agree that the trafficking term applies to minors whether the child’s actions were forced or appear voluntary.
The report it goes on to say:
Minor victims of sex trafficking-while too young to consent to sexual activity with adults- may at times be labeled as prostitutes or juvenile delinquents and treated as criminals rather than being identified and treated as trafficking victims. These children who are arrested may be placed in juvenile detention facilities instead of environment where they can receive needed social and protective services.
My opinion is that children used and abused by adults should never be treated as criminals but always be treated as the victim and be placed in safe, caring programs that will tend to their needs and walk them through their trauma with compassion until they become whole and triumphant.
Steven Wagner, President, The Renewal Forum writes this:
America today harbors a vast and terrible criminal enterprise that victimizes a very large number of children each year. The enterprise is known alternatively as human trafficking, a modern-day slavery, or, more precisely, the commercial sexual exploitation of juveniles.
Who are the men who drive this industry, “johns”, but by calling them this minimizes the damage, the trauma they inflict on the child.
An article in the
Fair Observer - Girls Like Us: Johns – The Men Who Buy Sex
If men know that the sex industry is harmful to girls and women, why do they participate in it?
*(Note: The following is an excerpt from Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not For Sale, a memoir about Rachel Lloyd’s experiences as a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation and her work over the last 15 years running Girls Educational And Mentoring Services (GEMS)
“Johns”, who make up the millions of men in America who buy sex from children. Those who have been exploited by the sex industry know that Johns represent every walk of life, every age, every ethnicity, every social economic class. Judges, mailmen, truck drivers, firemen, janitors, artists, clergy, cops, drug dealers, teachers. Handsome and rich, poor and unattractive, married, single and widowed. Fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, uncles, and neighbors.
Calling these men “Johns” minimizes the harm they do. At the very least, they are statuary rapists and child abusers. I would encourage you to go to fairobserver.com to read the rest of the article.
Child Exploitation is a very real issue. It should spark an emotion in us that wants to get involved in some way. Empathy, compassion, passion, anger…. something rather than turn a blind eye and have our head in the sand like an ostrich.
Steven Wagner, President, The Renewal Forum writes in the same article that many children today are either throwaways or runaways. He writes, the situation must change. We cannot allow, either on moral or practical grounds, another cohort of children to be discarded by families, subjected to profound trauma and serial rape, and then when used up, thrown back on the street to fend for themselves. Such children are virtually assured of being incapable of achieving independent, fulfilling adult lives without help.
Where does this demand for children to serve as sexual objects come from? Who are the huge numbers of men willing to pay for sex with children? It is plausible, if unsubstantiated, that this demand derives in part from our national epidemic of pornography consumption. In particular, the United States is one of the largest producers and consumers of child pornography in the world.
It’s a conservative estimate that over a quarter million children are bought and sold for sex in the United States.
This horrific issue of human trafficking is a global one, some countries experiencing higher victims than others, I have only touched on the problem here in the United States but the theft of human life in exchange for money for a human, a real person, is prevalent and the need to bring this in the forefront of the public eye is essential to start making strides into finding a solution.
HUFFPOST.COM - A CHRISTIAN CALL to END HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Nita Belles, Contributor Author, In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States’ (August 2011) Numbers and percentages are much higher now.
There are more slaves in the United States today than at any time in history.
There is nothing the criminals involved in modern day atrocities of human trafficking and slavery– the recruiters, the traffickers, the pimps, and others want more than for decent people to remain ignorant about what they do. All they ask is that we do nothing. Simple silence. If the myth that “it doesn’t happen here” can prevail, they have won.
This paragraph from Ms. Nita Belles book, In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States”, is part of the battle call to Christians to take up the fight against slavery as Christians did in the Underground Railroad.
Jesus was clear about Christians responsibility to do something regarding issues such as human trafficking when he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. When asked what it takes to inherit eternal life, Jesus immediately replied we must love God with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. To clarify, he pointed to someone who sacrificially cared for a socially outcast stranger who had been stripped, beaten, and left for dead. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise”. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus describes his mission. It includes evangelism, healing and proclaiming freedom for prisoners, and releasing the oppressed.
There are more than 27 million slaves in the world
Human Trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.
About 80 percent of all US trafficked individuals are female, about 50 percent are children.
In addition to the 100,000 youngsters trafficked annually, 244,000 to 325,000 American children are at risk for sexual exploitation and sex trafficking every year.
Read the rest of the article at huffpost.com and become well acquainted with this issue so you can do your part. If you have read this far then you can no longer turn a blind eye and stay silent because if you do you are aiding the traffickers with your silence… Instead become an effective weapon in the fight to end human trafficking. Don’t be too busy to save a life from torture and pain, the loss and the trauma.
Learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking and memorize the numbers to call to get help for the victims. As Christians and other caring people need to step up to do what we can to protect children and others from this horrific crime in our backyard.
I know, it is hard for us to fathom that people can be so evil, greedy and lustful as to put their own desires without compassion or empathy or value on a human life, especially that of a child. There is a growing, burning passion in me to bring Trauma To Triumph Family Ranches to fruition. The need to have a safe, nurturing, residence in a ranch setting with the quietness that, that provides, with the animals that are non-threatening to start the trust building process. Every 30 seconds someone is being stolen into slavery which increases the urgency.
We can pray, donate our time and resources, whatever it is…. we need to act.