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On Human Trafficking

WHEREAS, Human trafficking is criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited through the use of force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary subjection to labor or commercial sex acts (see Trafficking Victims Protection Acts of 2000 and 2013); and

WHEREAS, The form of slavery known as human trafficking knows no borders and preys on victims of any age, race, gender, or nationality, involving an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 persons being transported from place to place each year into some form of forced labor, including about 17,500 persons who are trafficked into the United States each year; and

WHEREAS, It is estimated that as many as twenty-seven million persons worldwide are now being held in some form of slavery, including commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, child labor, and forced organ harvesting, producing annual profits of over $32 billion; and

WHEREAS, Human trafficking preys upon the poor and the most vulnerable members of a society, especially women and children, the overwhelming majority of whom are younger than twenty-four years old, and many who are young children; and

WHEREAS, About 1.2 million children are trafficked every year, with two children being sold into slavery every minute; and

WHEREAS, The irresponsible use of salacious explicit sexual material through various media is promulgated in cultures around the world, thus perpetuating demand for selfish sexual gratification, reducing the stigma of commercial sex, and creating a demand for sexual slavery; and

WHEREAS, The Bible describes each individual as being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27), affirms the sanctity and dignity of all human life (Psalm 8:4–5), and calls upon believers to speak up for those who cannot defend themselves (Proverbs 31:8–9); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Houston, Texas, June 11–12, 2013, commit to pray for the victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists to educate themselves and others about the various expressions of modern-day slavery, how to prevent it, and how to minister to those who have been victimized by it; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend the Southern Baptist churches and individuals who are already bringing healing and restoration to trafficking victims in the name of Jesus Christ; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to support agencies and ministries which help rescue and rehabilitate trafficking victims; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call upon Southern Baptists to support public policies at the local, state, national, and international level which combat human trafficking; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we affirm the important work of persons in law enforcement, education, medicine, counseling, and other professions who address human trafficking through their assigned responsibilities, pledging our prayerful support.