Sex Trade

Caroline Langston 05-02-2014
Courtesy Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Relisha collage. Courtesy Homeless Children's Playtime Project

The first ominous sign that the Relisha Rudd case was slipping from the local Washington, D.C. imagination was when the police alert signs posted on the roads into the city had their messages changed, or were removed entirely.

For weeks after the news that the little eight-year-old girl was missing broke on March 19, the digital display boards had broadcast the Amber alert in their amber lettering, its grim message truncated in a style all too appropriate for the digital age: “BLK Female, 8 YRS, 4’0”, 70-80 LBS,” along with a contact number to report sightings. Radio stations had urged citizens repeatedly to be on the lookout.

Because I tend to leave WTOP news radio on a little too often when the children are around, my ten-year-old son grew preoccupied with the case, and because he cannot admit to himself that tragedy is ever actually happening, came to me and said, earnest with his watery blue eyes, “Mom, you know they found that girl.”

Hoping, hoping.

God's Politics 09-26-2012

President Obama speaking to the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday:

I want to discuss an issue that relates to each of these challenges. It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity.  It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.

Now, I do not use that word, "slavery" lightly.  It evokes obviously one of the most painful chapters in our nation’s history. But around the world, there’s no denying the awful reality. When a man, desperate for work, finds himself in a factory or on a fishing boat or in a field, working, toiling, for little or no pay, and beaten if he tries to escape — that is slavery. When a woman is locked in a sweatshop, or trapped in a home as a domestic servant, alone and abused and incapable of leaving — that’s slavery.

When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed — that’s slavery.  When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family — girls my daughters’ age — runs away from home, or is lured by the false promises of a better life, and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists — that’s slavery. It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world.

Leroy Barber 08-03-2012

Does anybody else feel this weight?

I woke up this morning in tears. I don’t know why today is different, but I do know the weight is for my brothers and sisters who are in pain.

I imagined what the night was like for folks in my neighborhood who had to fend off threats last night.

I imagine the young girl in a car — against her will or against her first choice — with the guy named John, and I lament for her soul.

I imagine the young guy standing out all night selling death so he can have a little life — whether it’s in the form of food, dignity or just to feel like he is meeting some need, somehow.

I imagine the mom lying in the bed next to someone she would rather not touch, but because he pays the bills for her kids to eat and sleep, she puts up with his abuse and doesn’t say anything about the other woman he also lies with around the corner.

Matthew Santoro 01-09-2012
Image from Passion 2012.Photo by: Kenny Hamilton, 11Alive News, with permission.

Image from Passion 2012.Photo by: Kenny Hamilton, 11Alive News, used with permission. http://on.11alive.com/zwzvNP

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? – Isaiah 58:6 (NRSV)

A pervasive criticism of modern Christians, both from outsiders as well as concerned Christians, is that people of faith are not taking seriously Jesus’ call for us to serve “the least of these.”

Thankfully, we may be turning a corner.

Last week in Atlanta, more than 42,000 Christians packed the Georgia Dome  for four days to participate in Passion 2012. Spearheaded by Passion Conferences founder Louie Giglio, Passion 2012 is another in an ongoing series of conferences intended to engage the “university moment” with Jeusus’ compelling message.

What made Passion 2012 so compelling for so many wasn’t the impressive list of popular Christian speakers, including Francis Chan, John Piper, and Beth Moore. It wasn’t the popular worship music of Chris Tomlin, the David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, and Kristian Stanfill. Nor was it the presence of 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne.

It was the call to action — the invitation to make Jesus’ message of social justice a reality in this world.

Julie Clawson 06-28-2010
When South Africa was selected to host the World Cup, there was much rejoicing and reflection on how far the country had come.
Molly Marsh 01-01-2010

Promoting gender equality is crucial to combating global poverty, a point Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn make in their new book,

Molly Marsh 01-01-2010

Promoting gender equality is crucial to combating global poverty, a point Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn make in their new book,

Becky Garrison 01-01-2010

A conversation with filmmaker Libby Spears.

Eugene Cho 06-03-2009
Is it possible that we as Christians just aren't angry enough about injustices like human trafficking and slavery? Perhaps we've grown too desensitized, domesticated, and docile.

The new global anti-trafficking movement is expanding in Europe, where churches have joined a coalition to advocate for an end to human trafficking within European Union member states.

David Batstone 03-01-2007

Through faith and business savvy, the Hagar Project gives new life to freed slaves in Cambodia.

David Batstone 03-01-2007

The modern global slave trade and those who fight it.

Rose Marie Berger 09-01-2006

Stately Action. After much work by its Catholic majority, the Philippines officially banned the death penalty in June, winning the thanks of Pope Benedict XVI.

David Batstone 06-01-2006
Human trafficking thrives in the new global economy.

After unanimous votes in Congress, President Bush signed into law in early January the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, drawing praise from human rights and religious g

Josh Andersen 02-01-2006

Does Ricky Martin's sexed-up music undercut his anti-trafficking activism?

Sex Trafficking

Five young women—survivors of child and youth sex trafficking in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco—came to Washington, D.C., this winter to share their stories and discuss solutions to a problem that affects an estimated 300,000 youth in the United States annually.

Andrew Schleicher 09-01-1999

One-hundred and thirty-eight national religious leaders announced in June their support for the Freedom From Sexual Trafficking Act of 1999, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

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