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Commission on Human Trafficking

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Commission on Human Trafficking

The Diocese of Atlantaís Commission on Human Trafficking acknowledges that an overwhelming problem in human trafficking is the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). Unfortunately, Atlanta is one of the nationís hubs for CSEC. A study commissioned by A.Future.Not.A.Past  found that as many as 7,200 men pay for 8,700 sex acts with adolescent girls per month in GA. While studies are not yet available, it is believed that the numbers are equally high for adolescent boys. The problem of CSEC is complex, is enormously profitable for adults who are trafficking children, and involves both the sale of sex with children for profit and the abuse of human sexuality.

Children are a heritage from the LORD (Psalm 127:4). The Church is called to love, shelter, protect and defend children within its own community and in the world, especially those who are abused, neglected or in danger (The Episcopal Churchís Childrenís Charter). The church has a moral obligation to speak out on behalf of children who are put in the position of selling their bodies for sex, and to educate its members about the issue, advocate on behalf of children, and to work with at-risk children to help prevent CSEC. 

The Episcopal tradition views human sexuality as a gift from God, and not to be subjected to exploitation or violence. As stated in our marriage rite, sexual relations are for the mutual joy of two people. The love of two people in body & soul has the potential to reveal the joy & abundant life shared by God through his Son Jesus Christ. Relationships between two people are to bear witness to the creating, redeeming & sanctifying love of God in the world and should be a witness & a sign to Godís never-failing care, and not used for the abuse of another person.

The Commission calls on the Diocese of Atlanta to engage fully in conversation in each of its parishes around the issue of CSEC; to discuss what appropriate action might be taken in each parish; and to look for organizations in our communities with which to work so we can help end the rape of children for profit. 

We hope that this website is helpful to your parish in exploring the issue. Please check back often as we are continuing to build out the site, and will provide updates on a regular basis. 
 
For more information about the work of the Commission, contact The Rev. Liz Schellingerhoudt, chair, at liz@stlukesatlanta.org or by phone at 404-873-7690.

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