Friday, June 24, 2011

Human Trafficking in God’s World

Product photo 

Justin Holcomb

Pastor, Author
Genesis 3 records the terrible day when humanity fell into sin and shalom was violated. This was a moment of cosmic treason, when Adam and Eve violated their relationship with God by rebelling against His command and fell into the severe ignobility we all experience. The entrance of sin wrecked the order and goodness of God's world; it was the disintegration of peace. Sin inverted love for God, which in turn became idolatry, and inverted love for neighbor, which became exploitation of others.
One clear way this exploitation of others takes place is human trafficking. Trafficking is modern-day slavery and is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or taking of people by means of threat, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, or deception for the purpose of exploiting them. The United Nations estimates that 2.5 million people are trafficked annually. It deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels organized crime.

Victims of trafficking are forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking ranges from domestic servitude and small-scale labor operations to large-scale operations such as farms, sweatshops, and major multinational corporations. Sex trafficking is one of the most profitable forms of trafficking and involves any form of sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, pornography, bride trafficking, and the commercial sexual abuse of children.
The United States is a destination country for international trafficking: foreign women and children are transported into the United States for purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. The State Department estimates that approximately eighteen thousand foreign nationals are trafficked annually into the United States. Victims are brought to the United States from Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Most women and children brought to the United States find themselves forced to work in massage parlors, commercial or residential brothels, escort services, and strip clubs.
Sex trafficking also happens to United States citizens residing within United States borders. An estimated three hundred thousand American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry annually. Traffickers coerce women and children to enter the commercial sex industry through a variety of recruitment techniques in strip clubs, street-based prostitution, and escort services.

Domestic sex traffickers particularly target vulnerable young girls, such as runaway, homeless, and fostercare children. In the United States, the average age of entry into prostitution is thirteen. One reason many girls working in prostitution enter the trade in their early teens has to do with the age at which many were victims of incest. The average age of incest is twelve. Incest and other forms of abuse often drive children to run away from home, making them vulnerable to the slick tactics of sex traffickers.

The pimp seduces a recruit with the lure of love, protection, wealth, designer clothes, fancy cars, and exclusive nightclubs. Pimps move from city to city looking for children and young women who are easy prey: alone, desperate, and alienated. Once a pimp moves a victim from her hometown into a strange city, the pimp can easily force her to work as a prostitute. Thousands of children and women are victimized in this way every year.

Human trafficking is a sin against the victim and a sin against God. Evil is anti-creation, anti-life, and the force that seeks to oppose, deface, and destroy God, His good world, and His image bearers. Simply put, when someone defaces a human being — God's image bearer — it is ultimately an attack against God Himself.
Sexual violence is one of the most frequent and disturbing symbols of sin in the Bible. It is a complete distortion of relationship, a mockery and devastation of God's intent in making us for relationships with Himself and others. By referring to sexual violence, God, through the biblical authors, communicates that sin has progressed so far that sex, an expression of union, peace, and love, is now used as a tool for violence.

Far from being a peripheral issue in the Bible, exploitation is mentioned frequently throughout Scripture, is depicted as sin against God and neighbor, and symbolizes how badly sin has corrupted God's good creation. The victim's experience of trafficking is not ignored by God or minimized by the Bible, and it is not outside of the scope of healing and hope found in redemption. God's response to evil and violence is redemption, renewal, and re-creation because of the gospel of Christ. And that should be the church's response.

Evil and violence are not the final word. They are not capable of creating or ultimately defining reality. That is only God's prerogative. However, evil and violence can pervert, distort, and destroy. They are parasitic on the original good of God's creation. In this way, evil serves as the backdrop on the stage where God's redemption shines with greater brilliance and pronounced drama. What evil uses to destroy, God uses to expose, excise, and then heal.

Dr. Justin Holcomb is a pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, and director of The Resurgence. He is author, along with his wife, Lindsey, of Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault.

Original article

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Video Game's 'Capture the Babe' Mode Has Players Slapping Women -

A screenshot from the trailer for Duke Nukem Forever, which resurrects the familiar sexist sterotypes seen in the original versions of the game.

This story came out this morning on A new game, Duke Nukem Forever, developed for XBox by Gearbox Studios who bought the rights to the game last year, requires players to abduct women and give them a slap if the woman resists or freaks out. It implies, very strongly, that "Duke" receives oral sex from twins in school uniforms!

As an advocate for women's and children's right, I cannot, I repeat CAN NOT, sit back and let this go! Please read the article below (click on the link). Anti-Slavery Project will be taking action against everyone involved in allowing this if it is released in June as the article suggests.

No where on God's green earth is something like this "OK!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Serving Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

January 19, 2011—Join an Online Discussion

On January 19, 2011, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will present a Web Forum discussion with Mollie Ring on best practices for serving child victims of sex trafficking. Ms. Ring is the Director of Anti-Trafficking Programs at the Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE) Project, a nonprofit organization working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adults. She coordinates direct services for domestic minor and international victims of human trafficking and leads outreach, training, and public education efforts. She also oversees technical assistance initiatives for local, regional, and national partners. Prior to joining SAGE in 2008, Ms. Ring served as a consultant to the United Nations Children’s Fund’s Evaluation Office and the United Nations Development Programme.

Visit the OVC Web Forum now to submit questions for Ms. Ring and return on January 19 at 2 p.m. (eastern time) for the live discussion. Learn how to participate beforehand so you are ready for the discussion.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Woman. A Prostitute. A Slave

Americans tend to associate “modern slavery” with illiterate girls in India or Cambodia. Yet there I was the other day, interviewing a college graduate who says she spent three years terrorized by pimps in a brothel in Midtown Manhattan.

Those who think that commercial sex in this country is invariably voluntary — and especially men who pay for sex — should listen to her story. The men buying her services all mistakenly assumed that she was working of her own volition, she says.

Yumi Li (a nickname) grew up in a Korean area of northeastern China. After university, she became an accountant, but, restless and ambitious, she yearned to go abroad.

So she accepted an offer from a female jobs agent to be smuggled to New York and take up a job using her accounting skills and paying $5,000 a month. Yumi’s relatives had to sign documents pledging their homes as collateral if she did not pay back the $50,000 smugglers’ fee from her earnings.

Yumi set off for America with a fake South Korean passport. On arrival in New York, however, Yumi was ordered to work in a brothel.

“When they first mentioned prostitution, I thought I would go crazy,” Yumi told me. “I was thinking, ‘how can this happen to someone like me who is college-educated?’ ” Her voice trailed off, and she added: “I wanted to die.”

She says that the four men who ran the smuggling operation — all Chinese or South Koreans — took her into their office on 36th Street in Midtown Manhattan. They beat her with their fists (but did not hit her in the face, for that might damage her commercial value), gang-raped her and videotaped her naked in humiliating poses. For extra intimidation, they held a gun to her head.

If she continued to resist working as a prostitute, she says they told her, the video would be sent to her relatives and acquaintances back home. Relatives would be told that Yumi was a prostitute, and several of them would lose their homes as well.

Yumi caved. For the next three years, she says, she was one of about 20 Asian prostitutes working out of the office on 36th Street. Some of them worked voluntarily, she says, but others were forced and received no share in the money.

Yumi played her role robotically. On one occasion, Yumi was arrested for prostitution, and she says the police asked her if she had been trafficked.

“I said no,” she recalled. “I was really afraid that if I hinted that I was a victim, the gang would send the video to my family." . . .

No one has a clear idea of the scale of the problem, and estimates vary hugely. Some think the problem is getting worse; others believe that Internet services reduce the role of pimps and lead to commercial sex that is more consensual. What is clear is that forced prostitution should be a national scandal. Just this month, authorities indicted 29 people, mostly people of Somali origin from the Minneapolis area, on charges of running a human trafficking ring that allegedly sold many girls into prostitution — one at the age of 12.

There are no silver bullets, but the critical step is for the police and prosecutors to focus more on customers (to reduce demand) and, above all, on pimps. Prostitutes tend to be arrested because they are easy to catch, while pimping is a far harder crime to prosecute. That’s one reason thugs become pimps: It’s hugely profitable and carries less risk than selling drugs or stealing cars. But that can change as state and federal authorities target traffickers rather than their victims. . .

Read the full article here.


Nicholas Kristof rightly points out the common misconception that human trafficking occurs only outside the U.S. borders. Awareness of the global nature of human trafficking merits great emphasis in the fight for abolition. The stories told by countless survivors demonstrates the strength of the human spirit and creates new impetus for addressing the demand side of this profitable trade.

The Human Trafficking Project: A Woman. A Prostitute. A Slave

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Check out this SlaveFree interactive map. Make your voice heard against human trafficking!


John Walsh Goes Undercover on America's Most Wanted

Watch this video!

John Walsh Goes Undercover on America's Most Wanted

The Human Trafficking Project: Shop to Stop Slavery

Press Release:

Shop to Stop Slavery Releases 2010 Ethical Christmas & Holiday Gift Guide
Learning how to be a socially conscious shopper this holiday season has just been made easier by Shop to Stop Slavery.

Jacksonville, FL, November 8, 2010 —, a new concept website devoted to raising awareness about human trafficking, has released its very own, unique 2010 Ethical Christmas & Holiday Gift Guide. The premier edition of the guide aims to help shoppers make ethical choices in the gifts they offer this holiday season.

Many of the products purchased in the Western Hemisphere are produced by slaves or exploited groups of people. Robin Rossmanith, founder of Shop to Stop Slavery, states “It is a shame that the items that bring joy to our children, friends and family members are created in a manner that brings suffering to others.”

Consumers who are concerned about making socially conscious shopping choices can make a difference by purchasing items with the “fair trade certified” label or those shown to be made ethically. Through such purchases, they are supporting manufacturers and brands that are committed to not exploiting others. Luckily there are many options available for fairly made product purchases. However, sometimes consumers have to spend hours researching to find the right gift.

The 2010 Ethical Christmas & Holiday Gift Guide is a compilation of almost 100 US based stores that carry fair trade and/or ethically made products. The guide includes links to stores for easy access by the viewer. The Ethical Christmas & Holiday Gift Guide will make socially conscious shopping easier for the consumer. The gift guide can be viewed at and is also available for download.

The 2010 Ethical Christmas & Holiday Gift Guide was created by Robin Rossmanith, founder of Robin has a background in retail sales, as well as extensive knowledge of human trafficking. After discovering that 27 million people worldwide are living in slavery and a shocking number of them were right here in the United States, Robin Rossmanith, a Jacksonville, Florida mother of 3 school age children, committed herself to becoming an activist for the cause. Robin became the co-chair of the Northeast Florida Human Trafficking Task Force, in 2010, leading individuals and agencies in a community wide effort to prevent human trafficking, rescue and restore victims and prosecute traffickers.

Also in 2010, Robin began, a website dedicated to informing consumers about products made with forced labor and providing opportunities for consumers to purchase slave free goods. Shop to Stop Slavery seeks to engage everyone in the efforts to end human trafficking. “Even the seemingly little things, like the Christmas gifts you buy, can make a big impact towards ending the exploitation of those people worldwide who are most risk.”

For additional information, contact Robin at 1-904-838-5339 or online is a blog created by anti-human trafficking activist Robin Rossmanith, outlining ways to increase awareness and help eliminate modern day slavery. As the co-chairperson of an anti-human trafficking task force, she has become intimately aware of the risks posed by these types of crimes.

To get a copy of the 2010 Ethical Christmas & Holiday Gift Guide, go to

Source: The Human Trafficking Project: Shop to Stop Slavery