The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of BCNN1.
Congress has only been back in session for a few days, yet our leaders already have an overwhelming amount on their plates. Between addressing the conflict with Iran and ending the fraudulent impeachment proceedings against President Trump, it will be easy for representatives and senators to turn their eyes away from the many issues Americans face. But this is precisely what they cannot afford to do. As we begin the new year and the new legislative session, our leaders must renew their commitment to ending human trafficking in the United States.
The arrest and death of Jeffrey Epstein last summer drew media attention to the greatest human rights violation occurring within our borders: the sale of human beings for sex. But Epstein was far from the only American who committed this crime. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 individuals are trafficked into the United States each year – but given the hidden nature of the crime, it’s possible that these numbers are low and there are far more victims than we currently realize.
Worse, the number of successful prosecutions that occur is also shockingly low. According to the State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, only 501 convictions occurred at the federal level in 2018. While this number doesn’t account for successful prosecutions at the state level, it does indicate just how difficult it is to bring these criminals to justice – and how much we must redouble our efforts to end this scourge on our nation.
And there’s no time like the present. January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month – an opportunity for us all to recommit ourselves to eliminating trafficking. And though this issue should be of great importance to every American, it should be of particular importance to conservatives. Our faith-based values teach us that sex belongs in the sacred intimacy of a covenant marriage and that all human beings – regardless of where they come from or what they believe in – have a right to personal liberty. Human trafficking violates both of these convictions, forcing innocent men, women and children to give away their privacy and bodily autonomy against their will.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Timothy Head