January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
“The Catholic Church intends to intervene in every phase of the trafficking of human beings; she wants to protect them from deception and solicitation; she wants to find them and free them when they are transported and reduced to slavery; she wants to assist them once they are freed.”
What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some labor or commercial sex act. Inducing a minor into commercial sex is always considered human trafficking, regardless of the presence of force, fraud, or coercion. It is a crime under U.S. federal and international law and is also illegal in all 50 states in the United States. Click here for excellent “Blue Campaign” website on human trafficking.
Due to the clandestine nature of this crime, human trafficking is difficult to quantify and an under-reported problem. The estimated number of victims actively trapped in a human trafficking situation worldwide is uncertain, as is the number of people involved in perpetrating this crime. Estimates vary widely, recognizing that perpetrators of this crime often find new tactics, methods, and means to exploit individuals; there is still much unknown about the crime.
Human trafficking can take a variety of forms. Some people are trafficked for prostitution, pornography, and other sexual exploitation. Some are trafficked for forced labor in agriculture, sweatshops, and domestic servitude. Some are trafficked for both. Through sexual slavery, the body becomes little more than an object to be exploited. For victims of forced labor, the body is made into a disposable machine, made to work long hours for little or no pay and the profit of others. In both cases, the enslaved person is treated as an object for another’s benefit. The person’s God-given human dignity is either ignored or forgotten.
Saint Josephine Bakhita was a model standing against the scourge of slavery and human trafficking. She was born in the Darfur region of Sudan in 1869 and was kidnapped by slave traders and enslaved as a child. She was forced to walk barefoot over 600 miles and was sold multiple times to different owners. She valiantly asserted her freedom with the help of the Cannossian Sisters of Venice, Italy. She lived out the rest of her life as a Cannossian sister, sharing her empowering testimony of human freedom and dignity.
Upcoming Zoom Webinar: St. Josephine Bakhita. A Saint for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking.
ZOOM Meeting. Tuesday. 02/07/23. 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm US Eastern Time.
Click here to register for Sr. Josephine Bakhita zoom webinar on Feb 7.
How To Report? Where to get Help?