Commissioner Helen Clifton delivered a "wake up call” to the youths at The Salvation Army's World Youth Convention in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday.
She admitted that the evil of human trafficking is extremely complex to combat because it is intertwined with a huge variety of industries, including pornography and sex clubs.
“We need to be wiser and better trained, but without losing the deep passion for those who have lost their innocence and succumbed to what is a sad and lonely life,” said Clifton.
“The work involves prevention, prosecution, protection and prayer.”
Clifton said part of the wake up call was for people everywhere to do all they could to care for others.
Though The Salvation Army has been involved in the fight against human trafficking since its beginnings 145 years ago, Clifton has been responsible for bringing it to the top of the organisation’s social justice agenda in recent years.
Clifton reminded the youths of the call to prayer issued by The Salvation Army's international leader, General Shaw Clifton, who designated September 26 as this year's day to pray for sex-slave trade victims.
"Sex trade trafficking is still a gross offense upon the earth," the call issued last month states. "Please use this weekend to raise awareness, raise your voices and raise funds against this outrage."
Following Commissioner Clifton, Commissioner Christine MacMillan, the director of The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission (ISJC), addressed the convention via DVD.
In her remarks, MacMillan referred to today's times as desperate and said many countries have terribly oppressive laws that punish women victims instead of the men perpetrating evil.
“Our journey of faith needs to be disturbed by all these injustices in the world. If it isn’t then our hearts are either numb or hardened and we need God to renew our sensitivity,” the commissioner declared.
She said the potential of the 1,000 convention delegates to reach into the world and make a positive difference was phenomenal, but reminded them that they needed to be aware that it could be a tough road to travel.
“You won’t be popular when you start to tackle social justice issues but it is a vital work because we need to influence the world by teaching everyone how to share so they can enter into loving relationships, “ MacMillan added.
Following MacMillan’s message, ISJC assistant director Lieut-Colonel Geanette Seymour took to the platform and summed up the ISJC message by reminding delegates of the importance of action.
“We have come from the east and the west to this convention but we need to go beyond the talk, there is a need to love, understand and to share,” she exhorted.