Posts Tagged ‘Trafficking’

What Do You Know About Slavery?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

We don’t hear much about slavery on the news. We don’t see slaves being bought and sold on the street. Yet, slavery still exists in 161 countries around the world including the United States.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. See how much you know about slavery and human trafficking by taking our short quiz. Answers are posted below.

1) How many people are currently trafficked worldwide?

A) 1 million
B) 5 million
C) 8 million
D) 12 million

Help Close a $32 Billion Industry

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

It’s 2012. How is slavery still possible? It’s not on the news and we don’t see it in our neighborhoods.

Somehow, this $32 billion industry exists in 161 countries around the world, including the United States. Innocents are routinely trafficked into the United States, and some live in a community near you.

Twelve million people are coerced, trafficked, and trapped. It’s a massive industry. What can you do? Realistically, what can one person do?

Ask one former slave.

You can make a difference.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  Join Catholic Relief Services in the fight against slavery and human trafficking.

Meet Former Slaves

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Ana Lucia Tesoureira, a former slave in Brazil, is now a successful homeowner at the age of 23. Photo Robyn Fieser/CRS

Many among the 42 families in the Nova Conquista, or New Conquest, settlement share horror stories of toiling away on fields in Brazil’s Amazon for little or no pay. Enslavement often began with a recruiter paid to lure workers to remote ranches with the promise of a salary.

Sleeping under tarps and in stables, drinking the same dirty water given to animals, and far from their families and out of reach of official inspectors, the people of Nova Conquista found themselves indebted for their food, travel, equipment and accommodations, which is often nothing more than a shack with no electricity or running water.

But it’s no longer the experience of slavery that ties the people of Nova Conquista together. It’s the 5-year fight to demand that the Brazilian government compensate them for their lost time. Under Brazilian law, they are entitled to back pay, but the bureaucratic process often drags on and becomes such a financial drain that many workers give up. Not the families of Nova Conquista.

With the help of Catholic Relief Services’ partner Pastoral Land Commission, the Nova Conquista group organized, demanded and received 2,670 acres of land and material to build more than 30 houses in their hometown of Monsenhor Gil in northeastern Brazil.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  Join Catholic Relief Services in the fight against slavery and human trafficking, and meet the people who went from slave to successful homeowner.

Pictures from a Moldova Daycare Center

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

CRS regional information officer for the Europe and the Middle East was in Moldova recently and sent back photos of children she met at a daycare center. A brief report follows the pictures in this post.

Moldova school

Moldovan children at a daycare center run by Sister Maria Tolledo. Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries and people there are vulnerable to being trafficked to other countries. When children are trafficked, they are often forced to beg.
Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS


Moldova School Children

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

CRS regional information officer for the Europe and the Middle East was in Moldova recently and sent back photos of children she met at a daycare center. A brief report follows the pictures.

Moldova school

Moldovan children at a daycare center run by Sister Maria Tolledo, a religious of the Order of St. John the Baptist. Some of the 34 children who go to the daycare center each day have little to eat at home. The nuns feed them several meals every day. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS


Reporting on Violence Against Women

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, CRS sexual and gender-based violence program manager, reports on her presentation at this week’s Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, D.C.

I just had the privilege of presenting Tuesday, alongside Sr. Louise Cleary (of UNANIMA International), on violence against women. I talked about sexual and gender-based violence, while she talked about human trafficking – or the sexual exploitation of women and girls.

Human Trafficking: Defining Modern Day Slavery

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Sunday, January 11, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Voices will run at least a few posts on the topic. The first order of business is to define the issue. Future posts will refer back to this formal definition.

For simplicity sake, here are the three key components that together constitute trafficking:
The action of: recruitment, transfer, harboring
By means of: coercion, use of force, deception, fraud
For the purpose of: sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery and slavery-like conditions

Here’s the formal definition:

In 2000, an internationally agreed upon definition of trafficking was developed as part of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and more specifically its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. In this Protocol, “Trafficking in persons (is defined as) the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

Caritas on Human Trafficking

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The Caritas blog has a post on human trafficking today. The post’s central point is that saving even one person is worth the effort and resources of the international community.

Human Trafficking Conference in Washington

Friday, October 31st, 2008

On Sunday CRS and Catholic Charities will host the “Responding to Trafficking in Persons in the Americas” conference in Washington D.C. CRS staff and partners working in the field of human trafficking will share their experiences and best practices as they discuss trafficking for sexual exploitation and indentured servitude, special needs of child victims and trafficking risks in emergency settings.

Trafficking in human beings is a $10 billion+ growth industry. There are estimates that 700,000 to 4 million people are trafficked throughout the world each year. CRS responds to human trafficking as a profound human rights concern that disproportionately impacts the poor and the marginalized. Since 2000 CRS has implemented close to 100 local, national and cross border counter-trafficking projects In 29 countries. The dollar value of our programs in the past 8 years exceeds $15 million.

The suffering of the victims of trafficking is indisputable. Understanding the forces that create and sustain this global problem is far more difficult. A complex array of initiatives will be necessary to combat it. Trafficking does not exist in isolation or disconnected from economic, political and social forces that increase the vulnerability and desperation of the poor and marginalized, the refugee and migrant, women and children. Trafficking is one of the tragic end results of economic and social disparities that have increased the vulnerability of millions of people; allowing many within our societies to be considered little more than a commodity.

Follow us as we blog live from the conference on Monday and Tuesday. You can also receive our twitter updates.

– Sara Fajardo, CRS communications officer