Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace are in the forefront of working to end slavery. Human trafficking is a contemporary form of slavery. Pope Francis calls it “a plague on humanity.” It is the second largest form of criminal activity, exceeded only by drug trafficking. Today, 21-30 million people are being induced through fraud, force, or coercion, into commercial sex acts or labor services. There are reports of organ trafficking.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) gives the following information regarding statistics on trafficking in the US:
“There is no official estimate of the total number of human trafficking victims in the US. With 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year, it is clear that the total number of victims nationally reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.”
US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking is joining with Sisters around the globe to make a difference. I serve with the core group of this collaborative, faith based, network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy in an effort to eradicate slavery. Dominican Sisters of Peace is a member Congregation and is, thus far, the only Dominican group who has signed on as member. I have been asked and agreed to be chairperson for our working group related to survivor support services.
Our core group will meet in Washington, DC, in October to plan and to meet with legislators. On our last visit, a representative from a senator’s office told me that there is growing awareness and support “on the hill” related to preventing human trafficking and helping survivors.
You can make a difference. Please visit our newly launched website: http://sistersagainsttrafficking.org/. It provides a wealth of information about trafficking, educational resources, videos, fair trade, and much more. US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking is on Facebook. Please like us!
Pray, dream, work for a slave-free world where each person is cherished as a daughter or son of the Divine.