Posts Tagged ‘Human Trafficking’

The Horror of Sexual Exploitation

Friday, September 29th, 2017

On September 28, I attended an important event at the United Nations entitled “The Trade in Minors in the Digital Age: Waking up the World to the Dire Need to Stop Trafficking in Children, Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Pornography”. It was sponsored by Group of Friends United Against Human Trafficking (a multi-national group formed by the Government of Belarus) and the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam).

This was a very tough conference to sit through, because the presenters spoke unflinchingly about the world-wide exploitation of children for prostitution and pornography. They spoke about an appalling reality that most people know nothing about — the global economy that profits from the most degrading incidents of rape anyone can imagine.

The facts about child pornography are nauseating. It is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the US who possess and trade child porn and even more victims. Over half of the possessors have either attempted or actually raped children. Millions of new images of children are identified every year, and the images themselves are beyond belief — most involve actual rape with unimaginable brutality. And the worst fact — 35% of the images were taken by a parent, 15% by another family member, and 20% by someone close to the family.

All of this is made possible by the internet. Supposedly reputable websites facilitate child exploitation through adds for sex or “dating” that are actually fronts for prostitution of young girls. The infamous case of Backpage.com was a central topic, because it exposes the critical flaw in US law that allows such websites — digital pimps — to operate with impunity.

We have to remember that prostitution is not a victimless crime. Young girls are manipulated into a world where they are repeatedly raped and abused every day, and they find it almost impossible to escape. It is a nightmare beyond anything depicted in the horror films that are so popular. If people saw this reality, instead of the Hollywood glamorization of it, they would be sickened and outraged.

The sobering reality behind all this is that this monstrous industry is completely fueled by the disordered sexual desires of men. Without the apparenly insatiable demand that comes from twisted lust, there would be no child pornography and no prostitution. The spiritual cancer of sexual sickness in the hearts of men is producing a living hell for women and children.

In a tragic irony, the same day as this conference was happening, the media was lionizing the late Hugh Hefner, who had died the day before. He was hailed as a liberator who opened up a door to sexual expression for men and women. All of that is a lie, and a vicious depraved lie. There was nothing whatsoever admirable about this repulsive man’s accomplishments.

The real legacies of his sad life are the commercialization of sex, the normalization of obscenity, the objectification of women, broken hearts and families, and ultimately the degrading trafficking in human persons and the explosion of child porn. All of these demonic structures of sin are fueled by the disordered sexuality that Hefner and others like him sold for profit.

A healthy society would not pay tribute to such a man. It would engage in serious soul-searching and regret that such a person could be seen as a success.

Sexual exploitation of women and children is a sickness in the heart of our society. We must spend as much energy on eradicating it as we spend on any other disease. It is ravaging and destroying hundreds of thousands of lives, and it is taking place right before our eyes. We cannot stand by idle while this horror is taking place.

Fighting Modern Slavery

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Today, the New York State Senate took action to fight the scourge of modern slavery, by unanimously passing the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act.

This bill is an important way to strengthen the fight against human trafficking in our state.  It is a terrible scandal and crime that thousands of people, particularly women and children, are suffering in our midst, having been brought here to serve as labor or sex slaves.  This is largely driven by the evil sex industry, particularly prostitution and pornography.

The number of victims of trafficking is staggering.  The UN estimates that there are over 1.5 million victims in the United States, Canada and Europe.  The majority (55%) of forced labor victims are women and girls.  And 98 percent of sex trafficking victims are female.  Children make up 26 percent of all victims — over 5.5 million child victims around the world.

And these numbers really do nothing to communicate the raw human suffering that is involved in this evil exploitation of vulnerable people.  It is difficult even to imagine the conditions under which sex slaves are forced to live and work.  The descriptions that I have seen rival the horrors of Dante’s Inferno.  

The Catholic Church around the world, and our own United States Bishops, have long been leaders in the battle against human trafficking.  Our bishops have an energetic anti-trafficking campaign, and Pope Francis has repeatedly denounced it as a “crime against humanity”.

Although New York enacted laws against human trafficking in 2007, our state continues to be a magnet for the modern slave trade.  By passing this bill, the State Senate has taken an important step forwards, and all our Senators are to be commended — particularly Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island, who led the fight.

It is now imperative for the Assembly to take action.  In that house, the human trafficking bill is being held hostage by pro-abortion advocates.   The bill is part of the Governor’s “Women’s Equality Act”, which also has a provision that would expand abortion.  Pro-abortion Assembly representatives, and the leadership, have so far refused to allow the trafficking bill to be considered on its own.

Shame on them.  The victims of human trafficking are calling out for protection.  They can’t wait for Albany politics.  The time to end the modern slave trade is now.