Sex Trafficking: A Christian Perspective

The selling and trading of human life for the purpose of sex, labor or any other purpose is an attack on human dignity. The reality is sex trafficking turns people, often very young girls, into mere commodities — sexual objects to be bought, sold, used and discarded. No human being should be treated this way.

At its core, sex trafficking is an issue of the sanctity of human life.  As Christians, we believe in the sanctity of all human life — from fertilization to natural death. Sex trafficking degrades and often destroys human lives that are made in the image of God. Thankfully, there are many people working to stop the horrors of sex trafficking.

The sad reality is sex trafficking wouldn't exist if there was no demand. Prostitution, which often involves human trafficking, is fueled by the proliferation of pornography. Equally important, we must understand human trafficking is directly fueled by and connected to the growth and acceptance of other forms of sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, pornography and strip clubs.

Here are some of Focus on the Family’s guiding principles as we look at the issue of sex trafficking from a Christian worldview:

Focus on the Family believes in the value of male and female, each created in God's image and bringing unique qualities to sexuality and relationships. 

The global sex trafficking industry promotes and thrives on the idea that humans are mere commodities that can be bought, sold, used and discarded. The Christian message stands in stark opposition to this.  In order to effectively combat sexual exploitation, Christians need to live out this message and publically take a stand against any form of commercial sexual exploitation.

Further, we believe sexuality is a glorious gift from God, meant to honor Him and not to be used to harm, demean or abuse others. We encourage parents to teach their children are healthy views of sexuality and provide them with a home life where they can witness healthy male-female relationships.

We believe that domestic and international sex trafficking is an important moral concern.

Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. More people are in bondage today than at any other time in the world's history. Focus on the Family affirms the importance of social responsibility, especially obeying Christ's command to care for the well-being of all people.

Historically, Christians bearing a message of hope and restoration have risen to the challenge of ministering to society's most vulnerable members, whether that involved rescuing abandoned babies, fighting for equal rights for all races, or working to protect the preborn. Those abused through commercial sexual exploitation are in desperate need of the ministry, compassion, understanding and advocacy of dedicated Christians.

We support anti-trafficking legislation and law enforcement efforts.

The federal government and state and local law enforcement agencies play a crucial role in reducing the opportunities to traffic humans for commercial sexual exploitation. We are encouraged by continuing efforts to reduce  sex trafficking and encourage continued efforts at the federal level to investigate and prosecute sex traffickers and illegally operating feeder businesses, such as the pornography industry, strip clubs and massage parlors that create a demand for trafficking victims.

We also urge greater efforts to create public awareness of trafficking and education targeted to vulnerable youth. We believe federal and state obscenity laws and local sexually oriented business regulations must be enforced so that pornographic industries cannot encourage the demand for commercial sex, provide a façade behind which sexual exploitation can occur, or promote the growth of global trafficking.

We support those organizations and ministries working to stop trafficking supply and demand and to rescue victims of sex trafficking.

We recognize that the average person may be discouraged by an inability to directly impact trafficking victims or end the global slave trade. Therefore, we encourage Christians to support those ministries and organizations involved in educating the public, passing legislation, rescuing victims and providing long-term care and rehabilitation.

How to Communicate about Trafficking

Christians play a vital role in highlighting the harms of commercial sexual exploitation, protecting vulnerable kids and promoting a society that values every human being. The following talking points can help you educate and engage others on this issue:

  • At its core, sex trafficking is an issue of the sanctity of human life. As Christians, we believe in the sanctity of all human life — from fertilization to natural death. Sex trafficking degrades and often destroys human lives that are made in the image of God.
  • Sex trafficking turns people into commodities – sexual objects that can be bought, sold, used and discarded. No human made in God's image should be treated this way.
  • Global commercial sexual exploitation harms millions of women and children each year.
  • Sex trafficking occurs across national borders, requiring global cooperation to investigate, prosecute, convict and sentence sex traffickers and rescue traffic victims.
  • Sex trafficking would not exist if there was no demand.
  • Sex trafficking is fueled by the proliferation of pornography.
  • Pornography and other feeder enterprises, such as massage parlors, prostitution, strip clubs and porn shops must be curtailed through the enforcement of obscenity laws and zoning ordinances.
  • Church leaders and Christians have an obligation to promote and live out God's design for sexuality and instill a healthy understanding in the next generation.
© 2014 Focus on the Family.