On Tuesday, Professor Jeffrey Brauch, Executive Director of the Center for Global Justice, discussed his book, Flawed Perfection: What It Means to Be Human and Why It Matters for Culture, Politics, and Law, at a luncheon hosted by the Center.
Prof. Brauch started off by telling the story of Asia Graves, a 16-year-old who was homeless and forced into prostitution. Not only did Asia’s captor fail to recognize her inherent value and worth, but Asia herself failed to acknowledge that she was not an object to be used and abused.
In a world like ours with dozens of talking heads constantly ranting about human rights and freedoms, how does forced prostitution still happen? The numbers Professor Brauch shared were astounding. 45.8 million people are enslaved in some form today. 800,000 people are trafficked across borders every day. 5.5 million children are trafficked worldwide. Age 12-14 is the average age at which sexually exploited girls are forced into prostitution. Perhaps most shockingly, $150.2 billion are earned every year through human trafficking, making it the fasting growing criminal activity in the world.
Flawed Perfection is about recognizing that the only way to understand and properly address issues of law and policy is to get human nature right. Our flawed human nature and depraved hearts are at the core of the human rights issues we face today, and the only way to address and rectify the situation is to understand that humans are made in the image of God, fallen, and morally accountable.
Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledged that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, this has done little to prevent modern atrocities and genocides. Prof. Brauch discussed that some countries have even adopted conventions and then used their language to undermine fundamental rights or use them as a wall to “hide behind”. These issues stem from the modern human rights movement (1) inadequate understanding of the nature and source of human dignity, and (2) failure to fully acknowledge the depth of human sinfulness.
The key issue right now is the need to recalibrate to be able to enforce and promote fundamental human rights to life and liberty, so women like Asia are no longer subjected to the harsh reality of human trafficking and prostitution. View his talk below: