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January 11, 2012 — Human Trafficking Awareness Day

January 5th, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S., thanks to passage of a resolution by the Senate on June 22, 2007 making January 11th a day of awareness and vigilance for the countless victims of Human Trafficking around the world.

Human Trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, and forceful detention of people either from one country to another, or within countries. Threats, force and/or deception are typical. Those being exploited are either unpaid, or given a very small payment for their work, prostitution or other sexual exploitation, and are not free to leave these abusive situations. Each year, there are between 600,000 and 800,000 people trafficked across borders throughout the world. There are many more trafficked within countries as well. The United States is not immune to this problem; Many are trafficked within U.S. borders, as well as into the U.S. from outside.

Human Trafficking is rapidly growing, despite the efforts of many to control it. Wherever there is poverty, war, flood, famine, or any kind of upheaval, unscrupulous people prey on the vulnerable. Women and children are especially affected, but many men are as well.

Many of us are unaware of the number of slaves (yes, slaves) we use to maintain our lifestyles. Go to www.slaveryfootprint.org for a series of questions that will show how many slaves it takes to maintain the way you live.

For ideas on what to do, check out the website for Breaking the Snares – A resource for parishes to use in combating Human Trafficking by the Sisters of the Divine Savior; see their parish resource.

In addition, explore the following:

  • Stop Trafficking Newsletter and other resources: http://www.stopenslavement.org/archive.htm#handouts
  • End Child Prostitution and Trafficking: www.ecpat.net (Website also available in French and Spanish)
  • Google The Dark Side of Chocolate to find several sites that show how children in Africa are involved in the chocolate that is so available to us.
If you suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking call: Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline 1-888-373-7888

 

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