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Written by Folafoluwa Soluade – “Gift of Innocence”

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Gift of Innocence_Author

Last year I worked on a project for Shared Hope International.

I reviewed and summarized 2020 U.S. State Legislation on human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children.

This year I was reminded of that research when working on my Student Note—a persuasive research paper.

The topic I chose to write on related to prostituted children. And the protections, and the lack thereof, that they receive from both state and federal law.

In researching the current legislation that protects such children. Who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation as well as sex-trafficking. I fully appreciated the work that organizations like the ones the Center partners with. Including Shared Hope and International Justice Mission.

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Specifically, Shared Hope is a nonprofit Christian organization whose mission is to eradicate sex-trafficking through a three-pronged approach. Prevent, restore, and bring justice.[i]

International Justice Mission is a global organization that works “in low-to-middle income countries to protect vulnerable children, men, and women from violence.”[ii]

Certainly, both organizations are doing important work. Firstly, in trying to effect change not only in the legislation that protects children that are sexually exploited but also in educating those in vulnerable communities. Secondly, providing continued services to victims. Finally, working with local officials in the justice system to combat this exploitation.

Supply and Demand

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The sex trafficking industry is booming because there is a serious demand for commercial sex with minors.

This is and should be a disturbing statement. The idea that children around the world are being bought and sold for sex.

During the formative years in which they are meant to see the world with innocence and wonder. They instead are being taken advantage of. Loosing their childhood gift of innocence.

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In some states, under law and societal perception these children are criminalized for the very conduct that makes them a victim of a crime. This is what organizations like Shared Hope and International Justice Mission are actively trying to change.

For children are a gift from the Lord and should be protected as such. Further, the Bible in Psalm 82:3-4 says to… “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.