Christian Legal Society (CLS) joins Americans in acknowledging the existence of human trafficking. CLS has compiled resources to help bring awareness to human trafficking and joins organizations across the United States and the world who are seeking to end human trafficking.
The evil of human trafficking is something that followers of Jesus, especially those in the legal profession, can actively fight and ultimately end.
Although institutional slavery was abolished in the U.S. by the Thirteenth Amendment, slavery in other forms is actually on the rise today. In the U.S. in 2019, 11,500 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Of those, 22% of the victims were under the age of 18, and because trafficking cases are believed to be severely underreported, the actual number of cases is likely much higher.
The U.S. not only faces a problem of foreign victims trafficked into the country, but our own American children are commonly recruited and exploited for commercial sex. Traffickers manipulate children using physical, emotional, and psychological abuse to keep them trapped in a life of prostitution. It is not uncommon for traffickers to beat, rape, or torture their victims.
Forced labor, another form of human trafficking, is also a bigger problem in the U.S. than Americans realize. Victims are found in both legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture, restaurants, hotels, and domestic service.
Contrary to popular belief, trafficking victims are not only immigrants or the poor, but increasingly come from all socioeconomic groups, including middle-class white suburban youth who are lured or manipulated into traffic rings right under our noses.
Trafficking survivors often face legal obstacles after being exploited, including criminal record impediments, family law obstacles, and immigration challenges.
What can Christian attorneys do to help? Volunteer with your local Christian Legal Aid program, get your church involved in a caring ministry, or just take the first step of getting informed on the subject.
Here is CLS' January 2021 Online Gathering on Human Trafficking Awareness:
Here are some additional resources from CLS:
- January 2021 Online Gathering discussing Human Trafficking Awareness Month and other resources
- January 2021 Human Trafficking Awareness Month Blog
- Justice Matters Clinic that specializes in helping victims of human trafficking
- The Christian Lawyer Spring 2021
- The Christian Lawyer Spring 2017
- The Christian Lawyer Summer 2014
- Cross & Gavel Podcast episode 50
- Anti-Human Trafficking Resources