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On Condemning The Trafficking Of Women And Children For Sexual Purposes

WHEREAS, The Bible declares that all people are created by God in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27), teaches the sanctity and dignity of all human life (Psalm 8:4-5), and requires us to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8, 9); and

WHEREAS, Jesus declared that it is better to have a millstone tied around one’s neck than to cause a child to stumble (Mark 9:42); and

WHEREAS, As many as one million women and two million children are trafficked internationally into sexual slavery annually; and

WHEREAS, There is evidence of sex trafficking trade in almost every country and known territory in the world; and

WHEREAS, More than 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States for sexual purposes annually, with a cumulative estimate of 700,000 in the last decade; and

WHEREAS, Only a few reported cases have been prosecuted successfully under existing law in the United States, with minimal penalties for the perpetrators; and

WHEREAS, Girls as young as eight years old have been found in the international sex trade and girls as young as fourteen in the United States; and

WHEREAS, The evidence shows that the number of reported victims is only a fraction of those ensnared in this horrible reality; and

WHEREAS, The devastation to the victims is physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually overwhelming, with sexually transmitted disease, forced abortions, inability to conceive, and chemical dependency, among other consequences, being the verifiable results; and

WHEREAS, Sex trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry, is often linked to organized crime and pornography; and

WHEREAS, Apart from Jesus Christ, these women and children are lost and without hope.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 13-14, 2000, condemn the trafficking of humanity for any purpose and call on all believers to pray for the victims of this horrendous crime; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Congress to pass legislation increasing criminal penalties for the perpetrators, providing assistance for the victims, and urging worldwide action to eliminate this particularly vile form of human trafficking; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to seek ways to address these issues at the state and local level.