Friday, November 09, 2007

LIRS Advocacy Supporting Trafficking Victims

ELCA Bishops Join LIRS in Supporting Trafficking Victims Protection Act

WASHINGTON (ELCA) -- Ten synod bishops of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) signed a letter Nov. 6 with
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) urging the U.S.
House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary to quickly
pass the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act of 2007 (TVPRA), which contains provisions
to help identify and protect child victims of trafficking.
The TVPRA bill, if signed into law, would help to identify
child trafficking victims, prevent children in federal custody
from being released to traffickers, ensure that children in federal
custody are placed in settings suitable for addressing their needs,
and provide services to child trafficking survivors in federal
As many as 5,000 children are being brought into the United
States for purposes of sexual exploitation each year, according to
the letter, which was signed by Ralston H. Deffenbaugh, LIRS
president. LIRS, based in Baltimore, is a cooperative ministry of
the ELCA, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Latvian Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America. It has provided services to trafficked
youth since 2000, through the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM)
"All Christians are called to act on behalf vulnerable people,
especially children," said Andrew Genszler, ELCA director for
advocacy. "In the ELCA's message on commercial sexual exploitation,
our church calls for legal protection for victims of sex trafficking,
which is what the TVPRA will provide."
The bishops who joined Deffenbaugh in signing the letter were:
+ The Rev. Stephen P. Bouman, ELCA Metropolitan New York Synod
+ The Rev. Claire S. Burkat, ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod,
+ The Rev. David A. Donges, ELCA South Carolina Synod, Columbia
+ The Rev. H. Julian Gordy, ELCA Southeastern Synod, Atlanta
+ The Rev. Richard H. Graham, ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C.,
+ The Rev. H. Gerard Knoche, ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod, Baltimore
+ The Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt, ELCA Central States Synod, Kansas
City, Mo.
+ The Rev. Dean W. Nelson, ELCA Southwest California Synod, Glendale
+ The Rev. E. Roy Riley, Jr., ELCA New Jersey Synod, Hamilton Square
+ The Rev. Paul W. Stumme-Diers, ELCA Greater Milwaukee Synod
The full text of the letter is available at
on the ELCA Web site.

No comments:

Post a Comment