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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Polaris Project Pushes States to Combat Slavery August 14th, 2013

state-ratings-gif-fixed5The Polaris Project works to end modern slavery. An important way to do this is by passing laws at the State level: Laws that explicitly outlaw sex trafficking and labor trafficking; Laws that treat child victims of sexual exploitation as kids, not criminals; Laws that establish vital assistance programs for all survivors of human trafficking.

To encourage greater attention to what needs to be done, the Polaris project has released a tool to measure States’ performance in combatting slavery. Their 2013 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws give two states (Washington and New Jersey) perfect scores. Mississippi, Arkansas and Wyoming have made important strides towards that goal. However, they note that a majority of states still lack basic victim assistance protections.

To see how your state rates, scroll down or download the information at www.polarisproject.org/2013stateratings

Please share this information widely.

 


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

 


Funds Available to Help Victims of Modern Slavery January 22nd, 2009

Are you involved in a program to help victims of modern slavery?

The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery allocates project grants (for a maximum of US$15,000), for programs of humanitarian, legal and financial assistance to individuals whose human rights have been severely violated as a result of contemporary forms of slavery. Contemporary forms of slavery include trafficking, sexual slavery, child labor and child servitude, debt bondage, serfdom and forced labor, forced marriage and sale of wives etc.

Click here to read more »

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