By B.N.

Read 1 Colossians 1:1-23, 2 Cor. 5:14-21
“For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.”
Spend some time in Colossians 1:1-23. Savor all that it says. Consider the reality of Christ, creating and sustaining all things.
Jesus came to proclaim, in word and in action, the good news of the Kingdom of God. (Luke 4:43)
The good news of His superior justice. The good news that He was sent to make things right. The good news of His work of reconciliation that is currently going on.
He was sent to reconcile all things to Himself, for the glory of God. All things includes all people, creation, systems, communities, and every other created thing.
In his ministry of reconciliation, things that were broken are made new, whole, and heal, and what they were made to be.
Within the world of human trafficking is much that is not right. There is, within, brokenness in relationships with one another, with the community, with God, and a brokenness of how each person sees themselves.
We are called to that ministry of reconciliation, according to 2 Corinthians 5:14- 21.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (vs. 18-19)
We have the extraordinary opportunity to partner in Jesus’ work of reconciliation in the lives of victims/survivors, buys, sellers, and the communities that support or promote the work of oppression. We partner in His work of healing and mending the brokenness of the community, of individuals, of relationships, so that they came be healthy, thriving, and all they were made to be. We partner in His work to reconcile the church to the relationships it was made for in its community and bring His justice so that the church and its members live fully in all we are called to be. We partner with different groups in the community, including law enforcement, to make this possible, respecting their authority and roles, recognizing their part in God’s work of justice.
This is an expression of the good news and the work of ambassadors of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation.

So we have many bills currently proposed in the state legislature. (see our previous post)
However, even if these pass, there are still needs to be addressed that are not in the current law. One major need is for the state law to reflect the federal definition of human trafficking of minors in prosecution of perpetrators of such a crime. In order to prove that a suspect is guilty of sex trafficking of an adult, it must be proven that there was force, fraud, or coercion involved. However, any juvenile who is being sold for sex is a sex trafficking victim, regardless if force, fraud, or coercion was used, according to the federal definition of human trafficking. As of yet, though, California state law requires that force, fraud, or coercion be proven for all human trafficking cases, including those involving juvenile victim. (Fortunately, California has one of the highest ratings for key Human Trafficking provisions, granted by Polaris Project)
California Against Slavery is working to get an initiative on the 2012 California ballot.
According to the group, this ballot initiative would strengthen California’s human trafficking laws by:
Increasing penalty for human trafficking from the current 8-year maximum in prison to a maximum of life in prison and fines up to $500,000
Protecting minors by allowing prosecutors to prove sex trafficking of a minor without a showing of force
Mandating human trafficking training for law enforcement officers.

To get the initiative on the ballot, they need to get 700,000 signatures and raise $1 million.
CAS has a list of their needs and volunteer opportunities on their website at http://californiaagainstslavery.org/get-involved/