“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives…to let the oppressed go free…” (Lk 4:18-19)
Human trafficking is considered modern day slavery. It begins with a lure–a promise of something so much better than what a high school graduate in Moldova, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, or a child laborer in India might find in their own desperately poor villages. Employment. Education. Opportunity. That’s the bait.
Then there’s the switch. The woman answers an ad to work overseas and arrives in a new country only to have her passport confiscated by people who force her into prostitution. The child is taken far from family and forced to work on a farm without pay, without protection, without schooling.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of forced labor, sexual exploitation and even the sale of organs. And it’s lucrative, annually generating $32 billion a year worldwide. That’s why it’s one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, exceeded only by the illegal arms industry and second only to the drug trade.
Viewed through the lens of Catholic social teaching, human trafficking is a crime against the most basic aspects of human dignity and human rights. It preys on the poor and vulnerable and exploits their labor. Under threat and often in isolated conditions, trafficked people have no community support, no recourse, no voice. Largely hidden from view, the scope of human trafficking has long gone unnoticed by the developed world, which often benefits from the cheap labor and economic, though illicit, gain. But that is changing. Use these prayer resources to pray for an end human trafficking.
The Catholic Church in the United States and around the world has called on people of faith to respond by creating tougher international laws that punish those who benefit economically from trafficking, protecting and providing services to those who have become its victims, and eliminating the conditions of poverty and social vulnerability that place people at-risk. Download and share this Catholics Confront Global Poverty human trafficking overview with your parish, students, friends and family.
In the United States, Catholic Relief Services and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have been advocating before the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). The TVPRA establishes the United States’ efforts and leadership to combat the multi-billion dollar human trafficking industry through prevention efforts, prosecution of those who profit from it, and protection of its victims. However, the Congress allowed the TVPRA to expire on September 30. Read this recent Catholic Relief Services op-ed in the Huffington Post detailing why the TVPRA must move forward in Congress without delay.
Raise your voice to end human trafficking!
Last week, the TVPRA overcame a first hurdle when it was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Check out the webcast of the proceedings. The Senate Judiciary Committee is supposed to consider its version of the TVPRA-which CRS and the USCCB have strongly endorsed-this week. The bill faces several more hurdles as it makes its way through the legislative process. Let your Senators know that you support S. 1301, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. Read the action alert and share with others.
2 Responses to “Your Faith is Calling: Help End Slavery”
Leave a Comment
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.