Revisiting “Human Trafficking”

Posted: February 28, 2010 in Commentary

The focus of this blog is not ancillary issues that tangentially affect Single Christian Men.

However, I have here suggested that my readers be aware of claims being made that substantial numbers of humans are being involuntarily trafficked — against their will — into the United States. The most lurid accounts suggest great numbers of women and children being involuntarily trafficked in this fashion for sexual abuse as some sort of slaves.

In my examination of this question it seems to me to be so that these claims are overblown by several — several — orders of magnitude. I cannot say that it does not happen because there is trace evidence that it has. However many claims are made by ministries that have been created to combat this that are simply not capable of substantiation. When you press ministries such as that one created by the Vineyard Association of Churches to open source the statistical methodology by which their numbers have been reached you will not be successful; indeed I have been personally accused of, shall we say, less than noble motives when I have pressed for a clear understanding in my interactions with one such ministry.

Is there evil happening, both here and in the world, in this fashion? Yes. But not to the extent claimed by many Christian ministries. There is evil happening in the church when fund raising activities are undertaken with knowledge of haphazard, erroneous statistics.

Voluntary prostitution by adults is not “human trafficking.”

Illegal immigration to seek work is not “human trafficking.”

Be observant.

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Comments
  1. Kimberly says:

    What is voluntary prostitution? Who would volunteer for such a soul damaging job?

  2. I would be interested in hearing what your definition of “voluntary prostitution” is and what your definition of national and transnational trafficking is.

    And the fundamental question do numbers really matter, isn’t one to many?

  3. singlextianman says:

    I will offer this scenario to the two of you: The mistress of the Governor of the State of New York, and the unfortunate soul who has been tricked across a national border with the promise of a job as, say, a seamstress and forced into prostitution. One of these figures is involuntary and the other is not. If you wish to agitate for an end to prostitution, then by all means do this with my help and blessing. If you want to willfully conflate your statistics by adding the mistress and others of like ilk, you err.

    You are barking up the wrong tree if you want to argue about “numbers” being important. All souls carry value and are worthy of the protection of the State.

    Churches who tell fibs, though, cut themselves off from their Source of Strength and undercut their moral legitimacy to be salt and light in the world.

  4. Kimberly says:

    Don’t want to argue about numbers. I think one is too many.
    Are you suggesting that someone who is prostituted and makes lots of money is possibly less a victim than your other example?
    Would you consider her a victim if her background was that her mom started training her in the “trade” when she was young, or her uncle abused her until all the value she saw in herself was through sex?
    I am not sure that I want to end prostitution only. I would like to see the belief end that people are, at any time, place, for any reason, available to be bought and sold for sex or any other purpose.
    As long as people, men or women, believe someone made in God’s image was created to be used for other people’s selfishness and pleasure I will always have something to fight for.
    And I am not arguing about good stats. I think we need to be really careful about the numbers we throw around. One is too many and ignoring the legitimacy of that because the numbers seem too obscene to make sense, although understandable, also undercuts the legitimacy of what we as believers are to stand for in the world.

    • singlextianman says:

      I don’t have reason to listen to you, Kimberly, since you aren’t listening yourself. I’ve personally traveled in Nepal, Cambodia, and South America and have ** personally ** seen that the traffic exists. You are probably too sightless to see it, but Christian men who have integrity, b***s, intelligence, and the willingness to fight against injustice are just the kind of people you want to have in your struggle against prostitution, and also trafficking.

  5. Kimberly says:

    Pretty sure I didn’t say trafficking didn’t exist internationally. Simply suggested that trafficking happens here and that people aren’t as willing to recognize it. And totally agree that men and women need to stand together in this, have never said otherwise. Men are integral to any discussion about ending the buying of sex but not if they aren’t able to keep from insulting the people they are having discussions with!

  6. singlextianman says:

    Are you, perhaps, that Kimberly who is involved in a Vineyard church? Your digital fingerprints suggest so. If you are, I beg you to reconsider your default animosity.

  7. Kimberly,

    We can ALL point to our unfortunate backgrounds as the root of our sins. Sooner or later, though, we have to take responsibility. There are women who VOLUNTARY prostitutes. Apparently, the Lord also thinks so, because in least some cases he ask for them to punished in the Old Testament.

    Yes, men need to stop objectifying women, but women need to stop flaunting their wares, too. I don’t have any more sympathy for the sex worker than I do for the drug pusher. They both make money off of people’s compulsions and weaknesses.

    When it comes to sexual power, women are not the victims they make themselves out to be.

  8. Katherine says:

    Wow. I am discouraged by your lack of awareness of the factual statistics of this #2 annual grossing criminal activity on our planet. May I suggest, if you truly care, to begin to conduct your own research? Start with public records at all levels of government in the US and then sign up for a daily Google alert of all reports using the search words human trafficking. I believe your eyes will be opened to the truth if you are open. God bless you!

  9. sing says:

    i observe that the responding comments seem to be veering off the main point of the author i.e.
    – that he cautioned us how statistics can be used to push for whatever agenda an organisation may have. be wise when we read statistics.
    – to call to account statistics that are used, and if need be, those who used the statistics should be able to stand up to public scrutiny the source and the verification of such numbers.
    just want to add that we are called to excellence in our christian faith and if anything at all, the standard for accountability should be far above the level in the secular world.

  10. singlextianman says:

    Wow, Katherine. You are willing to pray for a stranger that his eyes would be opened; and you even know how to use a search engine. May I suggest, given that you are such a Proverbs 31 lady — if you truly care about integrity — to explain to me why fibbing is ever an acceptable option?

    If you don’t think that there are ministries that are conflating statistics, then say that there are not ministries that are not conflating statistics.

    Perhaps you can get this lady

    http://dianascimone.typepad.com/diana_scimone/2009/10/update-on-52-kids-rescued-from-prostitution.html

    To explain how she got the “FBI” numbers that the FBI does not not seem to know about and that are not in the link she provides (though they are provided by some other entity than the FBI)?

    Or do you think that if I feel passionately enough that it should not matter what the real numbers are?

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