January has been declared National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. It's timely that the seriousness of this issue is being recognized, as it is not only a global crisis but a growing problem here at home.

Thankfully, the mainstream media are picking up on the crisis of human trafficking in the U.S., which FRC highlighted in two events last year. In a gripping new report, Fox News states that "with increasing technology and the Internet, human trafficking has become more accessible and more anonymous." Even the normally business-focused Forbes Magazine is informing its readers about "How To End Sex Trafficking and Human Slavery."

As Fox reporter Elizabeth Prann notes, "Experts say, across the globe, millions of people are trafficked each year. Hundreds of thousands of the victims are women and girls. But what surprises many -- is the rate it is happening in affluent neighborhoods where minors are being turned into sex slaves."

According to Rob McKenna, Attorney General of Washington State and current president of the National Association of Attorneys General, "Human trafficking is a $32 billion global industry, the fastest growing and second largest criminal activity in the world, tied with arms and after drug dealing ... I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, we will combat this crime within our borders and join with our partners around the world to end it."

The problem is grave and the harm it inflicts so painful it is difficult to describe. However, there is good news - the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability lists 31 Evangelical ministries that seek to help girls and women enmeshed in the sex trade, and Catholic Charities has launched a major project to restore the victims of this horrible practice to well-being. You can link to both sites by visiting FRC's RealCompassion.org web site.

Our Declaration of Independence argues that "all men are created equal," a reflection of the Bible's teaching that each person is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Our Judeo-Christian moral heritage and the charter document of our country both affirm the dignity of each life, and that none should be used as a commodity or debased as a non-person. Let's pray that our government and law enforcement officials, churches and ministries, and private charities will be effective in ridding America of this horrible practice. And, as we always say at FRC, the best guarantee of a good life - one in which girls are protected and given a healthy start - is a strong, loving, and worshipful family.