Who We Are
The WEA Human Trafficking Task Force was established in 2009 with a vision for engaging and equipping the local church to respond to victims and issues of human trafficking.
The United Nations estimates that there are 2.5 million people enslaved in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, and sexual servitude in the world at any given time. Nearly 80% of persons trafficked are used for sexual exploitation. (UN Office of Drugs and Crime, 2009). Virtually every country in the world is involved in the web of trafficking activities, either as a country of origin, destination, or transit.
As a global body of believers, the WEA has the opportunity and the obligation to respond redemptively to this crisis. We believe that the global church, operating locally, can be a powerful force in the battle against human trafficking, and for the restoration of its victims.
Dramatic differences exist in the trafficking situation and mechanisms between world regions. Responses to the crisis are nearly as diverse. In some regions, agencies and networks have a long history of assisting victims. We want to learn from these places, and to promote examples of good practice in the faith community. In other settings, exploitation is deeply entrenched and churches are prepared to offer little in the way of hope or help.
The Task Force will offer assistance in countries where their help is requested. Where possible, the Task Force will work with and through national Evangelical Alliances to bring resources to local church bodies and enable them to formulate relevant responses.
The WEA Human Trafficking Task Force will work with regional and national Alliances to equip and encourage local churches by:
- developing strategic networks connecting people with each other, and to crucial information, resources, ideas, prayer and encouragement
- promoting a biblical foundation for engagement. The body of Christ needs to explore the theological foundation that informs and supports its mission with victims and issues of exploitation, in each region and around the world.
- identifying, developing, and disseminating resources so that the Church has access to information, resources, and ideas, and can pray and act strategically. The Task Force will promote and translate existing resources and pursue creation of materials that do not exist.
- mobilizing informed responses through offering training for regional trainers in networking and partnership, needs assessment, situational analysis, and project development and management
- listening to stories and getting others to listen. As survivors are empowered by sharing their stories, the Task Force will facilitate their documentation. We hope to create awareness of the problems that make people vulnerable to trafficking, to catalyze the Church in informed response, and to assist in the prosecution of perpetrators.
The Task Force will launch its work through a global consultation that will provide the basis for networking and training (of trainers) for the regions. Regional staff teams will be trained to provide leadership and coordinate services in their areas. The Task Force envisions the need for follow-up conferences on a regional level on a periodic basis but anticipates that many of the needs of the (largely autonomous) regions may be met through web-based support, communication, and solutions.