City of Defenders

The driving force of sex-trafficking is demand.

Over time, anti-trafficking organizations and law enforcement have gotten better at capturing traffickers, and rescuing and restoring victims. We need to support this good work and continue to pray over it. However, unless we get to the root cause, traffickers will continue to operate and more people will be sold into slavery. To end slavery, we have to address the issue at its core: the demand. We will be talking about the demand for cheap products and low-cost labor that drives the labor trafficking industry in Chapter 6. In this chapter, we will look specifically into the demand for sex trafficking.

If systemic sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking are to ever end, men themselves must rise up to change the culture that enables it.

Men – and women – need to acknowledge and understand that any form of degrading and disrespectful behaviour towards women, is incompatible with the basic values of human dignity, Genesis 1:27. Whilst sex-trafficking is the If we truly believe that men and women were made in the image of God and acting like we truly do believe that the deep roots of the demand lie in the condition of the human heart. Demand is a spiritual issue that needs a spiritual solution. We need transformed hearts. Who better to address this than the Church?

In 2016, the Alliance launched a campaign called City of Defenders to address the issue of demand for sex trafficking in and through the Church. In recognizing there are many facets to tackling demand, we developed a series of different initiatives and strategies in our churches, families, youth groups and communities. Some of these initiatives to tackle demand involve women and men working together, but some initiatives call out men specifically to step up and speak to other men. Through City of Defenders, we are taking a bold step forward and directly calling out men to take a stance against sexual exploitation of every form.

Our vision is that rather than being known as a marketplace for traffickers, our city becomes a place where every woman, man, and child is defended against the harms of trafficking.

In the next section we are going to outline the various initiatives that make up the City of Defenders strategy. Before we start going outside the church, we need to start looking within the heart of the Church. Luke 6:42 says, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?” Fighting trafficking begins in our own hearts.