Date

6-2016

Department

School of Divinity

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair

Fred H. Smith

Keywords

Child Prostitution, Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Disciplines

Christianity | Ethics in Religion | Missions and World Christianity | Other Religion | Practical Theology | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Abstract

Child sex trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of commercial sex act that is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained eighteen years of age. Based on that definition, there is an alarming number of children that are being sexually enslaved. This paper specifically focuses on child sex trafficking or child prostitution. It presents a detailed analysis of the extent of child prostitution worldwide, discusses the long-term effects of child prostitution, analyzes the adequacy of the Church’s response, and proposes solutions for the eradication of child sex trafficking. The purpose of this study is to bring light to a problem that is affecting a great number of children. It argues that child prostitution is extremely pervasive, and permeates every fiber of society, leaving no regions untouched. Trafficking is present in all the habitable continents. In the US, trafficking currently exists in all fifty states, Washington D.C., and the territories. Sex trafficking is currently the most rapidly expanding form of global criminal activity, and is the second most lucrative crime, second only to narcotics. Children are specifically being targeted, and there is a strong demand for young virgins, which has been fueled by the child sex tourism. Consequently, younger and younger children are being exploited. This study also shows that the Church has largely neglected its responsibility, and has not properly responded to the problem of child sex trafficking. The Church largely uses its resources on itself, and allocates very little to what should have been its primary mission. Whatever the reason for the inaction, whether it is because of conflict between proclamation and social action, the Church has a mandate to show compassion and to liberate those that are being held captive, which include the victims of child sex trafficking.