Just 13. That’s the average age UNICEF reports that girls enter the commercial sex trade in the U.S.
Law enforcement is increasingly teaming up with faith groups to combat sex trafficking around the country. Some are calling the faith-based push against human trafficking the newest “Christian abolitionist movement.” In California, an Underground Church Network has formed to help U.S. trafficking victims. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has developed a human trafficking curriculum.
The North Carolina offices of National Association of Evangelicals’ humanitarian arm, World Relief, saw a 700 percent rise in reports of human trafficking last year. Also in North Carolina, the Centre of Redemption, scheduled to open in December, is founded to help pregnant teens and teen moms who are also trafficking victims. It also plans to start a sex trafficking community outreach campaign in local hotels and motels to help business owners spot and report it to police.
These efforts are in line with President Obama’s remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative. The President said that the estimated 20 million victims of human trafficking would become a major focus of his Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “Like that Good Samaritan on the road to Jericho, we can’t just pass by, indifferent,” Obama said. “We’ve got to be moved by compassion. We’ve got to bind up the wounds.”
Learn more at Amanda Greene’s Christianity Today article: Religious Groups’ Efforts to Fight Sex Trafficking Draws Presidential Attention.