Traffic Offense

Fourteen year-old Jayanthi met four women on the train home who befriended her and then drugged her. They transported Jayanthi to Bombay and sold her to a brothel. Locked away in a hidden room, the young girl was forced to live of life of horrible degradation. For three years until her rescue, Jayanthi endured a nightmare of beatings, rape, and several forced abortions. Now, multiply that story by four million, and you'll sense the magnitude of the worldwide sex-trafficking business. You'll also understand why many of us are outraged over the way in which the State Department has waffled on this issue. Two years ago, congress passed the Victims of Trafficking Protection Act -- the goal: to combat trafficking, punish traffickers, and protect victims. Congress told the State Department: "Expose the countries that are the worst offenders." These countries would then risk sanctions, unless they broke up the sex trafficking. Last week the State Department issued its annual Trafficking in Persons Report -- and some of the world's worst offenders were given passing grades. For example, in India, more than two million women and girls are forced to work as prostitutes. Yet, as THE WASHINGTON POST notes, "India is unable to tell the State Department of any convictions for sex trafficking, even though the practice is widespread and illegal." Then there's Thailand, where up to one million children have been forced into sexual slavery. Again, prosecutions are nonexistent. Despite the fact that more than eighty countries are known to have serious trafficking problems, only nineteen were listed as flagrant offenders and subject to sanctions. Meaningful statistics -- those that would tell the true story about the severity of each country's problem -- are almost non-existent in the report. Gary Haugen -- president of International Justice Mission, an organization that investigates cases of sexual trafficking around the world -- says the Trafficking Act has been rendered useless by the State Department's willingness to grant passing grades to the world's worst offenders -- offenders who are being given no incentive to change. The Sexual Trafficking Act was not intended to be a Full Employment Act for brothel owners, so we have to wonder: Why did the State Department leave off their list the world's worst abusers of women and children? It happens, we surmise, because State Department country experts don't want certain countries on the list because they fear such an action would damage other U.S. diplomatic or economic interests. Those State Department experts -- so nervous about offending other countries -- need to remember what America ultimately stands for. It doesn't stand for cravenly caving in to abuse and oppression, or reaching out a helping hand to pimps, johns, and rapists. We are a nation built on the scaffolding of freedom and dignity -- principles we support around the world. We need to pray for the victims of sexual slavery, their abusers, and those trying to free them. And remember two years ago I asked you to call -- and many of you did -- to get this bill enacted. Now the State Department is not carrying out its responsibilities. We ought to call our congressmen again and demand they hold hearings on this report. Teddy Roosevelt said America should speak softly and carry a big stick. Here's one of those times when we ought to insist our government use that stick. Take Action: Call your congressman and urge him or her to call for hearings on the State Department's Trafficking in Persons report. The Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Call today! For further information: You can read and learn more about the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report by visiting this website: . Mariam Bell, National Director for Public Policy of the Wilberforce Forum, released a statement on the TIP Report. You can read it here: . Read the text of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 here: Learn more about International Justice Mission at its website: . "Honesty About Sex Slaves," editorial, THE WASHINGTON POST, 29 May 2002, A16. [To read the articles listed, be sure to copy and paste the entire web address between the carats < > into your web browser.] ======================================= Saturday, June 15, 2002 "Imago Dei in A.D. 2002: Incarnational Living in a Secular Society" Conference: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Banquet with Chuck Colson 6:00 p.m. Las Colinas Marriott 223 West Las Colinas Boulevard Irving, Texas Speakers include: J. Kerby Anderson* (President Probe Ministries) The Hon. Richard Armey (U.S. House of Representatives) Ken Boa* (President, Reflections Ministries) Nigel Cameron* (Dean, The Wilberforce Forum) Chuck Colson* (Chairman, PFM) William Dembski* (Baylor University) Mark Earley* (President, PFM) Marvin Olasky* (Editor, WORLD magazine) *Confirmed Register online: . Or call 1-888-672-0007 for more information.


Chuck Colson



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