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News Archives » modern-day slavery

Pope Francis Takes Strong Action to End Slavery December 3rd, 2014

VATICAN CITY As Pope Francis and leaders of other churches and religions signed a declaration pledging to work together to help end modern slavery in the world by 2020, he urged governments, businesses and all people of good will to join forces against this “crime against humanity.”

Tens of millions of people are “in chains” because of human trafficking and forced labor, and it is leading to their “dehumanization and humiliation,” the pope said at the ceremony Dec. 2, the U.N. Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

Every human person is born with the same dignity and freedom, and any form of discrimination that does not respect this truth “is a crime and very often an abhorrent crime,” the pope said.

Inspired by their religious beliefs and a desire “to take practical action,” the pope and 11 leaders representing the Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, Anglican, Buddhist and Hindu faiths made a united commitment to help eradicate slavery worldwide.

Read the full article at National Catholic Reporter online

And here is something to put on your calendar: 

February 8th, 2015

National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking

On February 8th, 2015 the USCCB will observe the National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering.

Last February, Catholics throughout the country observed the national day of prayer through Masses, prayer vigils, and other events to raise awareness about human trafficking in their parishes and communities. This coming February, we encourage you to do the same. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors.

Please visit to download prayers, intercessions, a toolkit and other resources to help you host a human trafficking event locally. Visit for more information about human trafficking and to download flyers for the National Day of Prayer including a Mass that will be held on Sunday, February 8th at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

In the words of our Holy Father Pope Francis, may we be “slaves no more, but brothers and sisters.”

August Issue of Stop Trafficking! August 11th, 2014

masthead-blankRead the latest issue of Stop Trafficking!, the anti-human trafficking newsletter of a broad coalition of national and international congregations of women religious and their partners.

The August 2014 issue (Vo. 12, no. 8) highlights the plight of children in the US and those seeking asylum because of violence and sexual exploitation.


Resources to Root Out Slavery June 2nd, 2014

Below are two great resources to help us learn about and do something about modern day slavery. Please check them out.

Know The Chain is a resource that can be used to educate people about the existence of slavery in supply chains. It seeks to open dialogue to help companies build supply chains free of forced labor and trafficking. Visit the site:

The Amistad Movement is a national education campaign, sponsored by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, that works through churches, cultural organizations, and other community-based groups to empower immigrants and local leaders to prevent human trafficking in their communities.

Through the training you will learn how to:

  • identify human trafficking and exploitation in the domestic, agricultural, service, and sex industries;
  • establish partnerships with coalitions and other organizations dedicated to combating human trafficking;
  • support survivors of human trafficking;
  • become an ethical employer and consumer; and
  • educate others about this modern day slavery

For more information or to schedule a free training in your community please email or call (202) 541-3021.

Kidnapping in Nigeria a Tragic Reminder that Trafficking and Slavery Persist Worldwide May 16th, 2014

Constant vigilance and the full participation of all stakeholders is required to guard against hidden human rights abuses.

ICE.gove_trafficing-225x225Over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped on April 14th by Boko Haram in Nigeria, setting off a firestorm of concern from around the world. In messages to the Nigerian government the extremists have referred to the girls as slaves and threatened to “sell them on the market”. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a shareholder coalition that has been working to highlight human trafficking and modern slavery in corporate supply chains, adds it voice to the many religious, governmental, non-governmental and international institutions calling for the mobilization of all necessary resources and expertise to help locate and free the missing girls. The Oblates are active participants in ICCR and work through the coalition to abolish human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Click here to read more »

Become a SHEPHERD May 8th, 2014

Become-a-SHEPHERDAs Catholics we are called to seek ways that each of us can work with our dioceses and communities to combat human trafficking. This can be done through prayer, education, and responsible consumerism.

Visit to learn more about Becoming a SHEPHERD or email to request the SHEPHERD toolkit guide – now available in both English and Spanish – to help you educate your parish and community about human trafficking.

If you have already used the SHEPHERD toolkit, please fill out this quick survey from the USCCB campaign! They are looking for your feedback!

Toolkit for Business on Reducing Child and Forced Labor July 31st, 2013

INDIA-CHILD-LABOUR“Reducing Child Labor and Forced Labor: A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses” is guidance from the US Department of Labor designed for companies to help them make sure they are not using forced or child labor in their operations or their supply chain. It is very clear and comprehensive.

We all know someone who owns or has a responsible position in a business – spread the word! Access the toolkit here….

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 215 million children in child labor worldwide, 115 million of them in hazardous forms of work. It also estimates that 21 million people are in forced labor, six million of them children.

By utilizing this toolkit, companies show that they are concerned about these grim statistics. Using the tool-kit reduces the chance that their products — and the raw materials they come from — are manufactured, mined or harvested by children who should be in school, or by workers locked in sweatshops or forced into work through false promises or threats.

In order to effectively combat the risks of child labor and forced labor in a company’s operations and global supply chains, it is essential to have a comprehensive and transparent social compliance system in place. The goal of this toolkit is to assist companies that may not have such a system, as well as companies whose existing systems may need strengthening — particularly in the areas of child labor and forced labor.

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