Biola University’s Social Justice Ministry is raising awareness on campus about the sex trafficking epidemic around the world during Sex Trafficking Awareness Week. The student ministry has planned several events for the upcoming week, March 30-April 3, 2009, to enlighten the Biola community on the severity of this topic.

“Social Justice Ministry is a student led ministry on campus united in the fight to end human trafficking within our lifetime,” said Kathleen Lievanos, prayer team leader of the Social Justice Ministry (SJM). There are about 40-45 members in the club and most are contributing in some way to the week’s events, according to Lievanos.

“Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery,” stated the Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families (ACF) website, “Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.”

Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders every year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

“Through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ we will be able to bring awareness to the fact that this is not simply a crime plaguing third world countries,” stated Lievanos, “It is prevalent in our own nations. Our focus is awareness, prayer and action.”

On Monday, March 30, 2009, the SJM will host the first of four chapel events throughout the week featuring speakers on this topic. “Cargo,” a documentary that highlights the dark world of sex trafficking through interviews with victims and officials, will be shown in the Horton Residence Hall conference room and Stewart Residence Hall lobby on Tuesday evening at 9:00 p.m. The film “Call + Response” will be shown on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Sutherland Auditorium. “Call + Response” features performances and interviews with a variety of acclaimed speakers about sex trafficking and modern day slavery. Every night at 10:00 p.m., students can gather on Metzger Lawn for prayer after the day’s events.

Lievanos, on behalf of SJM, is requesting that students and faculty pray together in class or free time for this abolition of human sex trafficking.

For more information on what Biola University’s Social Justice Ministry is doing to fight this issue, visit their blog.

Written By Ashley Shafer, Media Relations Intern.