Category archives: Human Rights

Free at Last: 105 Children Rescued From Prostitution Ring

by Krystle Gabele

July 29, 2013

This morning, a news headline came across the wires that caused me to pause for a second, and it was the news that 105 children were freed from the chains of modern day slavery and from being trafficked for sexual acts. USA Today and multiple news outlets shared reports that the FBI had also arrested 150 traffickers or “pimps.”

The FBI conducted the raid, Operation Cross Country, which was a massive nationwide sweep that targeted domestic minor sex trafficking. You can see some of the video below of the operation. This raid was coordinated by federal, state, and local agencies in 76 cities.

”Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in a press release. “This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”

While this is a step in the right direction, there are still traffickers in this country and around the world for those who steal the innocence of women and girls. FRC has published a booklet, “Modern Slavery: How to Fight Human Trafficking In Your Community,” which provides ways to identify human trafficking in your community. Click here to download the booklet and share it with those in your community.

Sowing and Reaping: China’s “One-Child” Policy Fosters Human Trafficking

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 22, 2013

The U.S. State Department, experiencing a rare spasm of moral rectitude, has issued a new report downgrading China from being a Tier 2 sex trafficking nation to a Tier 3, the lowest possible rating (Trafficking in Persons Report 2013).

Human trafficking is one of the great evils of our time, but in China it is exacerbated by the government’s “one-child” policy. This coercive initiative has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of millions of unborn baby girls and nearly 40 million Chinese men of marrying age who cannot find wives. That the State Department admits this is striking, even as the report itself is disturbing: “The Chinese government’s birth limitation policy and a cultural preference for sons, create a skewed sex ratio of 118 boys to 100 girls in China, which served as a key source of demand for the trafficking of foreign women as brides for Chinese men and for forced prostitution.”

The report continues that the Communist government has not done nearly enough to stop the trafficking of women and girls throughout the country caused by the “one-child” program: “The government did not address the effects its birth limitation policy had in creating a gender imbalance and fueling trafficking, particularly through bride trafficking and forced marriage.”

A nation, like a person, reaps what it sows. China has created not only a demographic crisis of unprecedented proportions through its “one-child” policy, but in carrying this policy out has consigned millions of unborn babies to death through abortion and thereby left millions of men without the possibility of marriage. This has, in turn, fostered a demand for women and girls who can be sold and purchased like commodities.

Let’s pray that somehow, a “culture of life” - even if driven by sheer economic self-interest - will take root in China and that abortion in that ancient land becomes as unthinkable as it should be.

Looking Towards Freedom: An End to Human Trafficking

by Krystle Gabele

July 15, 2013

Human trafficking has once again found its way into the media spotlight. Whether it is a Saudi Princess allegedly holding women against their will and forcing them to work against their will or a sex trafficking sting in Mexico City, which freed 74 women from captivity, we continue to learn more about the victims who have escaped from this horrible crime against humanity.

Whether the trafficked victim was forced into prostitution or into pornography, the psychological trauma that many victims endure has a long lasting impact. In a recent article in Verily Magazine, Mary Rose Somarriba describes the emotional toll and the need to end this crime. Somarriba interviewed several former victims, as well as organizations that assist trafficking victims, to bring awareness to the link between sex trafficking and pornography.

One theme that stood out was a victim who was trafficked, sold into prostitution and pornography. This victim, who has escaped the crime, indicated that being exploited in pornographic materials is far more damaging, as the photos still remain online long afterwards.

Other victims of trafficking who were forced into pornography also note the trauma of being exploited. Somarriba also notes an interesting statistic that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided:

The U.S. government considers all minors exploited in pornography to be victims of human trafficking, by virtue of their youth and inability to consent. And child pornography is a booming business. “With the advent of the Internet,” Allen notes, “the problem of child pornography has exploded … with that sense of anonymity and the ability of people to connect with each other, like-minded individuals, and trade images.”

The Department of Justice and NCMEC “both recognize that pornography is an element that adds to the serious problem of sex trafficking,” notes Elaine McGinnis in her 2004 report The Horrifying Reality of Sex Trafficking. “Many traffickers are found with filming equipment and cameras to create and sell pornography.”

This is a particularly sad statistic, and one that should outrage society as a whole. What can we do to prevent this crime from occurring? What can we do to protect the innocence of youth everywhere?

Although the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was enacted in 2000, this crime still occurs, partly because people do not recognize the signs of trafficking. Many of this could be contributed to not having the resources available to recognize those who are victims and ensuring that law enforcement is actively trying to get the traffickers off the street.

However, it is up to each state to ensure resources as well. Shared Hope International provides a valuable resource in identifying how your state ranks in preventing human trafficking. This resource tracks each state legislature and what they are doing to prevent domestic minor sex trafficking in terms of legislation.

It is time to stop girls and young women from being sexually exploited through the grim acts of trafficking. It must be the mission of professing Christians everywhere to advocate tirelessly for a society that is free of this horrible crime.

U.S. Is Helping Fund China’s “One-Child” Policy

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 5, 2013

If you doubt it, read this post by Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse:

A few of the eye-popping, soul-discouraging, indignation-inspiring nuggets:

  • China is currently short more than 37,000,000 women as female infanticide, sex-selective abortion, and neglect have ripped through the female population.”
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) spent $4,861,000 in China last year for “population dynamics programs,” “family planning,” and other population control programs. The United States gave $30,200,000 to the UNFPA last year.”
  • Over the past two decades, Population Research Institute has repeatedly sent teams of investigators into China. We have thoroughly investigated UNFPA ‘model family planning counties,’ and found that local UNFPA representatives are working hand-in-hand with the Chinese government. If anything, forced sterilizations and forced abortions were more prevalent in the UNFPA’s so-called ‘model counties’ than in the rest of China.”

The President of the United States has the authority, under legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Reagan, “to stop funding ‘any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization’.”

Let’s pray that God would work in Mr. Obama’s heart to exercise his authority on the side of life.

Mind-Boggling Abortion Statistics from China

by Chris Gacek

March 18, 2013

The Financial Times has been doing excellent reporting related to Chinese demographics problems.  Of particular interest is China’s aging population which has been brought about in large measure to its zero-growth population policies that have been in place since the 1970s.  The most important aspect of these policies is the “one-child policy” which mandates forced abortions and sterilizations.

In a front-page article in the FT’s weekend edition Simon Rabinovitch, a reporter in the paper’s Beijing bureau, presented population data obtained from the Chinese health ministry:

China’s one-child policy has been the subject of a heated debate about its economic consequences as the population ages. Forced abortions and sterilisations have also been criticised by human rights campaigners such as Chen Guangcheng, the blind legal activist who sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing last year.

China first introduced measures to limit the size of the population in 1971, encouraging couples to have fewer children. The one-child rule, with exceptions for ethnic minorities and some rural families, was implemented at the end of the decade.

Since 1971, doctors have performed 336m abortions and 196m sterilisations, the data reveal. They have also inserted 403m intrauterine devices, a normal birth control procedure in the west but one that local officials often force on women in China.  (my emphasis).

The magnitude of these figures is staggering.  By comparison, at present there are 315 million people living in the United States.  Rabinovitch does not really tell where the data came from within the Chinese government, but these are pretty specific numbers that make sense.  In short, we are talking about a maximum of 336 million Chinese who would be under the age of 42 – the peak working years.

The Often Ignored Global Crisis

by Krystle Gabele

January 8, 2013

Every day upon arriving at work, I open my internet browser only to find news on the economic crisis or what celebrity got busted for a criminal act.  It is kind of alarming, when the media forgets to shed light on a global crisis, such as human trafficking.

According to a recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal acts worldwide.  It is a crime that impacts men, women, and children around the world, whether it is through prostitution rings, forced labor, or even the trafficking of human organs.  

This weekend, there will be a prayer effort across religious denominations to bring awareness to human trafficking.  Weekend of Prayer will take place January 11-13, and it is a time to pray for the victims and survivors of this horrible criminal act.  It is time to lift those who have been impacted by human trafficking and bring awareness to this issue.

Also, Family Research Council is having a panel discussion on human trafficking and what can be done to prevent this crime from occurring around the world.  Former Congresswoman Linda Smith, President of Shared Hope International, and Mark Blackwell, Founder and President of Justice Ministries will discuss how state legislatures can enact stronger laws to address human trafficking and what you can do to bring awareness to this vital issue.

No man, woman, or child should ever have to go through what the victims of human trafficking endure.  It is time to stand strong for human dignity.

Racism at the Times

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 20, 2012

Tim Scott, an African-American, serves as a Congressman from South Carolina. He has been designated by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) as the successor to retiring Sen. Jim DeMint, who is leaving the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation.

John Steele Gordon is a historian widely recognized for his erudition. He wrote for that notorious conservative rag American Heritage (yes, that’s sarcasm) for 18 years.

Mr. Gordon has written about Rep. Scott’s appointment to the U.S. Senate in response to a shocking article by University of Pennsylvania professor Adolph L. Reed Jr. Writing in today’s New York Times, Mr. Reed conveys near apoplexy that such persons as black Republicans exist, let alone that one was appointed to the nation’s highest legislative body. As Mr. Gordon summarizes, “If you’re black but not liberal, in Professor Reed’s worldview, then you’re not really black.”

That’s why Mr. Gordon has titled his article on Mr. Reed’s remarks “Racism at the (New York) Times.” It is well worth taking a few minutes to read.

Suggesting that one’s race should incline him to a particular political point of view is tantamount to saying that almost all Russians must have innate Communist sympathies, or that their experience in life has been so universally consonant that for them to affirm political liberty as a value is incongruous.

I don’t think even the group-thinkers at the Times would argue that. Well, I don’t think they would …

Celebrating a Turning Point in the Perception of Intellectual Disability

by Cathy Ruse

December 19, 2012

On December 6, 1962, Jérôme Lejeune received the first Kennedy Prize from President John F. Kennedy for his discovery of the genetic cause of Down syndrome and his care for those with genetic intellectual disabilities. This December marked the 50th anniversary of that event.

The story of Trisomy 21, the genetic disorder that causes Down syndrome, is remarkable, and follows the life of a remarkable man. The following excerpts are taken from an article I wrote with my husband, Austin Ruse, which appeared in The Catholic Thing on December 16, 2011:

In 1958, Jerome Lejeune was a thirty-two-year-old geneticist working in a Parisian laboratory when he discovered the genetic marker for Down syndrome. Only two years before, scientists had discovered that the human species possessed forty-six chromosomes. Lejeune was able to count forty-seven chromosomes in children with Down syndrome. He went on to discover several other chromosomal anomalies including Cri du Chat Syndrome.

His work was hailed around the world. He received the Kennedy Prize in 1963 from the hand of President Kennedy himself. He received the William Allen Memorial Award, the highest honor in genetics. His work formed the foundation for whole new fields of genetic research.

And then, the horrific irony. A method for diagnosing Down syndrome in utero was developed, abortion was decriminalized, and it became open season on unborn babies with intellectual disabilities. His discovery led to a holocaust.

Lejeune spent the rest of this life fighting this holocaust. And for this he lost almost all of his worldly prestige. He and his family received death threats. A well-deserved Nobel Prize never materialized.

None of this mattered. For Lejeune, what mattered was the children:  “I see only one way left to save them, and that is to cure them.”  He dedicated his life to finding a cure for Trisomy 21 and spent his final days traveling the world giving lectures about the dignity of the human person, no matter how small, no matter the location, no matter how disabled.

Lejeune died of lung cancer in 1994. Just before that, his friend John Paul the Great created the Pontifical Academy for Life and named Lejeune its first president. When he died, John Paul prayed at Lejeune’s grave in France.

The Lejeune Foundation calls the Kennedy Prize “a turning point in the perception of persons with intellectual disabilities.” It was Lejeune’s discovery, and President Kennedy’s recognition, “that began to free persons with trisomy 21 of the stigma they had previously carried from their birth.”

In his speech at the award dinner that evening, President Kennedy said intellectual disability had been “hidden under social disadvantages” and “considered a mark against the parents.” But “it was really a disease, or a difficulty, or a challenge to which few people gave their attention. Now we hope that it will come out into the bright light. And will be given the same sort of attention as cancer and heart disease and all the rest which afflict our people.”

The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation recently opened an office in the United States.  Please see the organization’s website for more information.

Campus Diversity? “Gay” Trumps Black, Female, Christian

by Peter Sprigg

December 19, 2012

The restrictions on freedom imposed by pro-homosexual political correctness grew tighter this week. A 3-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the University of Toledo’s 2008 firing of Crystal Dixon for writing an opinion piece questioning comparisons between the civil rights movement and the homosexual movement.

Dixon was Associate Vice President for Human Resources, and had been promoted several times and received excellent performance appraisals in the years she had served at the University of Toledo. All that changed, however, in April of 2008. First the editor of the Toledo Free Press published a rather simplistic opinion piece saying that he has friends who are gay, and therefore does not understand why anyone would oppose the “gay rights” agenda. Dixon wrote her piece in response, and it was published on April 18, 2008.

Dixon, never identifying who she worked for, began by affirming that “human beings, regardless of their choices in life, are of ultimate value to God and should be viewed the same by others.” This could hardly be taken as endorsing “discrimination” against anyone.

Dixon then went on:

As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo’s GraduateSchool, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are “civil rights victims.” Here’s why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended.

In contrast, Dixon wrote, “thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle.”

Dixon concluded with a statement of her religious convictions:

There is a divine order. God created human kind male and female (Genesis 1:27)… . There are consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God’s divine order… . Daily, Jesus Christ is radically transforming the lives of both straight and gay folks and bringing them into a life of wholeness: spiritually, psychologically, physically and even economically. That is the ultimate right.

Dixon’s immediate supervisor immediately told her that people had complained about what she wrote. Three days later, Dixon was suspended; on May 12, she was informed that her employment was being terminated.

With the help of the Thomas More Law Center, Dixon sued. Citizens do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they become employees of a government agency (such as the University). While private employers have more discretion in terms of what conduct they permit or prohibit, public employers are bound to respect the exercise of constitutional rights unless it interferes with the individual’s job or the mission of the institution.

Crystal Dixon’s case appears to be a clear violation of her right to free speech. She expressed her personal and religious opinion on an issue of public concern in a forum unrelated to her work, and did so without identifying her employers. For her to be fired under these circumstances would appear to be a clear case of “viewpoint discrimination,” which the law does not permit.

However, the Court of Appeals accepted the University’s argument that her statements did interfere with her work, reasoning that they call into question her commitment, as a Human Resources officer, to enforcing non-discrimination policies that include “sexual orientation.” Yet Dixon had not criticized or even commented upon these university policies, and had never been accused of failing to enforce them. (Her only comment about the university in the opinion piece was one defending its efforts to equalize benefits for all employees.) The record even showed that Dixon had personally hired homosexual employees.

In the brave new world of pro-homosexual political correctness, it is not enough to do what the PC police demand. One must also say and even think the right things, or one’s career may be in jeopardy.

What really lost at the Sixth Circuit was freedom. That much is Crystal clear.

A Very Un-merry Christmas for Nigerian Believers - and What You Can Do

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 18, 2012

The term “Boko Haram” has a distinctly non-English sound to it.  Rightly so, as it is the name of an Islamic terrorist group in Northern Nigeria.

Literally meaning “Western/book learning is evil,” this radical Muslim sect is committed to creating an Islamic, Sharia law-based society in Nigeria.  To that end, the Boko Haram have bombed and burned hundreds of churches over the past decade; they are truly ecumenical, as their targets are both Catholic and Protestant.

Since its inception in 2001, the British Broadcasting Company reports that Boko Haram has murdered as many as 10,000 people, men, women, and children.  Anyone professing Christianity is ripe for death in the twisted minds of Boko Haram’s members.  As with their unconcern with denominations, they are equal-opportunity killers of all ages.

Despite their unvarnished record fanatical brutality, the U.S. State Department has not been willing to declare Boko Haram a “foreign terrorist organization.”  Although State has designated several Boko Haram leaders as terrorists, its view of the movement itself seems more benign.  Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, testifying before FRC’s great friend U.S. Rep. Chris Smith’s House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, sought to draw distinctions within Boko Haram – even though, after doing so, he called the group a “terrorist organization.”

Why is this important?  In the words of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Benjamin Bull, “Such a designation triggers a variety of legal sanctions against the terrorist organization including freezing bank accounts, outlawing transfer of funds to support the group, expelling or arresting its members or associates in the U.S, and imposing sanctions on countries that provide support for the group.”

Yet the State Department’s Jason Small, deputy director of the Office of West African Affairs, argues that “We (the U.S.) are very concerned about how the designation would be received in northern Nigeria. We continue to make a strong case with the government; there are legitimate grievances people have in the northern states, they need to have a comprehensive government response, a more professionalized security response.”

Legitimate grievances?”  So profound that they justify murdering mourners at funerals, driving car-bombs into church buildings, and burning people alive?  Even for those of us used to the slimy rhetorical ooze that masquerades as diplomatic tact, this is too much.  Two months ago, the Boko Haram admitted its mission is nothing more than the violent overthrow of the Nigerian government and the end of Nigerian Christianity:

A Boko Haram spokesman has declared war on Nigeria’s government, the security services, and the country’s Christians. “I enjoy killing anyone that (Allah) commands me to kill the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams,” the spokesman said in a video released online.

Last month, FRC President Tony Perkins joined with our allies at ADF and the Jubilee Campaign, a Christian human rights organization, in signing a petition calling on our State Department finally to label the Boko Haram what it is, a foreign terrorist organization, and thereby helping to de-fund and arrest the spread of this vicious movement.

 You can join Tony and FRC in signing this petition by going to the Jubilee Campaign’s website.  Please join us in standing with Nigerian Christians whose only crime is their faith, whose only failing is remaining steadfast.