August 10, 2009
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has recently created a taskforce on human trafficking in an effort to raise awareness across the WEA community that represents 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide. The taskforce, headed by the WEA spokesperson on human trafficking Commissioner Christine MacMillan, aims to prevent and combat trafficking by developing strategic and effective actions and tools that will help equip the local churches and their leaders to become responsive to the victims of human trafficking.
“The taskforce by conviction has the potential to develop skills of awareness for the WEA constituency of national alliances that represent 420 million. Looking at the atrocity of Human Trafficking may invoke lament where, ‘tears flow like a river day and night’. (Lamentations 2:18a) Perhaps the taskforce is to release tears in God’s church as the door to which we produce strategic interventions of determination”, Commissioner MacMillan said.
According to Commissioner MacMillan, who also serves as the Director of the International Social Justice Commission of The Salvation Army, the taskforce mandate is charged with the following outcomes:
- Awareness raising events with WEA members and surrounding communities
- Community based projects in addressing intervention strategies in highly trafficked parts of our world.
- Engagement with regional UN offices in building collaborative think tanks and subsequent action.
- Empowerment of the local church to influence civil society in the back yards of our community.
- Bringing a social justice paradigm where there is an active presence in social service church mission.
- Raising the issue of intervention in human trafficking with vulnerable and at risk persons
Resource materials for the local churches are already on offer and major projects of churches, collectively with taskforce members facilitating, are currently taking place in Eastern Europe, India, Canada, and Australia.
The taskforce members who have been selected from the WEA Women’s Commission are Rev Eileen Stuart-Rhude, the Executive Director, Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag of Sweden and Jocelyn Durston of Canada. Appointees will be responsible for developing the global vision and effectively applying the vision principles in their regions. Influential men are soon to be added to the taskforce and the named membership will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The anti-human trafficking taskforce holds to credence of action,” added Commissioner MacMillan. “It embraces a spiritual worldview of unconditional compassion. Its love of God is intentional in encouraging society to live in communities of capacity and dignity in relationship. It views trafficking as an injustice to God’s desire to live in relationships of mutual respect.”
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the WEA International Director, commented, “It is a travesty that more than one person a minute is trafficked across borders every year. It is my hope and prayer that this WEA initiative will help mobilize and train our global community to respond in meaningful, effective and biblical ways. As Christ followers we must do all we can to help end the injustices of this worldwide calamity.”