Southern Baptists Support Missouri’s Attorney General for Targeting Human Trafficking

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Missouri’s attorney general has drawn support from Southern Baptists for issuing regulations enforcing consumer protection laws to target human traffickers.

In April 3 comments made at an undisclosed human trafficking rescue site in the St. Louis area, Joshua Hawley likened human trafficking to modern day slavery, noting that each year, thousands of young women and girls are forced into commercial sexual exploitation — forced to provide sex for money.

“We need a new abolitionist movement to confront this oppression and turn it back,” Hawley said. “And I am here today to announce that Missouri will help lead the way.”

He noted, “It’s a bold new approach designed to open a new front in the fight against trafficking.”

The new regulations: make using a business as a front for trafficking illegal; make debt bondage illegal under Missouri’s consumer protection statutes; target those who induce victims to come to Missouri based on the false promise that a good job awaits, only to force them into commercial sex or slave labor.

John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), was present during the press conference, and echoed the need to combat trafficking.

“This is huge news that places our state on the cutting edge for protecting women and children from sexual predators who use this abhorrent crime as a tool to make money,” Yeats said.

“In our state,” he noted, “the sheer numbers of people caught up in this vile industry make a person want to weep over the iniquity of a culture that allows this form of slavery to go unchecked.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Brian Koonce