DAY 19 - Laws to Protect the Innocent
Today we will focus our prayer and repentance on the issues unique to US-Mexico border towns.
The Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. –Psalm 140:12
Since 2000, every U.S. state has enacted or strengthened laws banning trafficking (please click here to see each states laws from the Polaris Project). There are also strong federal laws prohibiting sex and labor trafficking.
Within the past few years, Mexico has also seen major advancement in anti-trafficking legislation. In 2007, the Mexican Congress passed the first federal law and since then, all 31 Mexican states and the Federal District (Mexico City) have undergone major law reforms when it comes to trafficking and its penalties for offenders.
The good thing is that we have the laws on the books, but just how effective are these laws? We don’t know.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agrees that the official statistics underrepresent the actual number of trafficking victims and perpetrators.(1) And due to the secretive nature of the trafficking trade, victim counts are likely to remain inaccurate.
Since the implementation of these anti-trafficking laws, only 360 perpetrators have been prosecuted with 238 convictions, and only 1,264 people have been identified as trafficking victims in the United States.(2)
So the real issue becomes that the laws on the books are not adequately written, enforced, or resourced.
WINNING THE BATTLE LEGISLATIVELY
Achieving effective enforcement of trafficking laws will require dedicated citizen advocates – especially Christians. Those same legislators who received applause for passing the laws now need to be challenged to make the laws more effective. This may well involve updating the existing statutes based on lessons learned in the last decade.
One woman who is a prime example is former Mexican Congresswoman Rosi Orozco, president of the Commission United Against Human Trafficking. This once ordinary citizen was compelled to answer the call to end trafficking in Mexico by becoming involved legislatively. Her work, primarily in Mexico City, has shut down trafficking rings and strip clubs harboring prostitution in the Zona Rosa, and by working politically in the nation she has been able to effectively pass major laws against trafficking in its various forms.
To read the full USRPN article on this issue, please click here.
Lord, forgive me is I have not cared about the legal battle for innocent victims. I ask that you would give me ideas and show me ways that I can get involved on behalf of survivors from a legislative perspective.
Father, we confess that we have often declared righteousness but failed to work for righteousness. Help us to be true in word and deed. Grant us your wisdom to know how to address this issue in our own communities.
Father God, give Your people favor as we advocate
for more effective legislation and more comprehensive enforcement
regarding human trafficking.
Bring the issue of sex trafficking to the
forefront of the media, making the public and our legislators keenly
aware of the pervasiveness of this issue.
Turn the hearts and minds of legislators toward
being receptive to passing more effective human trafficking laws. Bring
conviction and wisdom to our legislators regarding the need to update
statutes and develop strategies for better enforcement of them.
I pray for the exposure and removal of any corruption related to sex trafficking in the government of my state and nation.
- Lord, bring a spiritual awakening among legislators and the law enforcement community, uniting and empowering them to be a more effective force to fight evils such as sex trafficking.
1. The Justice Society does incredible work for the ending of modern day slavery. One of their primary focuses is the management of the Court Observation team, whose members attend court proceedings on behalf of youth who have been trafficked. To see how you can get involved, please click here.
2. Get involved in your government on a local level forming petitions and connecting with legislatures. that will aid in helping human trafficking survivors once they are rescued and possibly in the court system.
3. Many times, the voice of an organization is more powerful than that of just one person. Speak to an accredited human rights/anti-trafficking organization who is interested in the development of legislation that protects the innocent in order to see how you can get involved.