Stop Trafficking Newsletter

December Stop Trafficking Newsletter

8th International Day of Prayer and Awareness
against Trafficking in Persons
February 8, 2022

The Power of Care
Women, Economics, Human Trafficking

The theme of the eighth International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Trafficking in Persons is “The Power of Care – Women, Economics, Human Trafficking”.
Trafficking is one of the deepest wounds inflicted by the current economic system. Wounds that affect all dimensions of life, personal and community. The pandemic has increased the “business” of human trafficking and has exacerbated the pain: it has favored the opportunities and socio-economic mechanisms underlying this scourge, worsening the situations of vulnerability that involved the people most at risk – disproportionately women and girls. The latter, particularly penalized by the dominant economic model. The gap between men and women has thus grown.

According to the United Nations Strategic Plan 2022-2025 “Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)”1 with a general improvement in the condition of women globally, until the arrival of the pandemic, inequalities in all the most important areas of life: health, work, education and politics remain significant. Below, some unequivocal data:

* the participation rate, between the ages of 25-54, in the workforce is 90% for men and just under two thirds for women;
* for 2.7 million women there are important legal obstacles, as well as cultural, to equal employment opportunities.
* the global wage gap between women and men is estimated at 23%;
* women do three times more unpaid domestic and care work than men;
* women aged 25-34 have a much higher risk of poverty than men. The economic fallout is expected to push an additional 47 million women and girls into extreme poverty in 2021, reversing decades of progress.
* in parliaments, on average, women represent only a quarter of the seats;
* 30% of young women do not study, do not work, do not follow any training courses (while for young men it is 13%); two thirds of illiterate people in the world, are women;
* 245 million women and girls over 15 have suffered physical and/or sexual violence by their partner in the last year;
* only 13% of the anti-COVID fiscal, labor and social protection measures concerned the economic security of women.

According to the United Nations statistics on trafficking in persons (2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons) women and girls represent 72% of identified victims of trafficking and the percentage of women and girls increases significantly in the context of trafficking for sexual exploitation; a market that represents 2/3 of the profits generated by exploitation.

Faced with the failure of economic models based on exploitation, women are called to take on a leading role as agents of change to create an economic system based on caring for people and the common home, involving everyone. Care is a lifestyle and is Jesus’ way of loving, as he proposes to us in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 25-37), taken up by Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti. We have to take care to transform our relationship with nature and social and economic relationships, which too often are centered on an aggressive competition that impedes all forms of cooperation and respect for human dignity.

The empowerment of women is not only a question of justice in terms of equal opportunities, but also of expanding the capacity of human resources. With a greater involvement of women, new social and economic processes can be fostered: various development agents open new horizons to development itself. A system that excludes women, and other vulnerable social groups, is not only an “inequitable” system, but also an “inefficient” one, because it does not maximize its capacity to promote integral human development.

With the pandemic, the society and institutions have rediscovered the value of caring for people as a pillar of security and social cohesion and the commitment to care for the common space in order to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation, which mainly affects the poorer.

The power of care is the only way to tackle human trafficking and all forms of exploitation.

Prayer Vigil for February 8th

National Anti Trafficking Awareness Month

Slavery Isn’t Dead. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. It is a form of modern-day slavery. On any given day, 40 million men, women, and children are victimized by human trafficking.

Examples of Trafficking included the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.

Other examples:

 *Forced and bonded labor, Child labor Debt bondage among migrant laborers, non-voluntary domestic servitude

*Forced sex and sex trade Child prostitution, Sexual and gender-based discrimination and violence ,child soldiers

*Forced marriage Factors, Poverty, Labor shortages or surpluses

*Corruption War and violent conflict, Organized crime

*Racism, Abuse and social violence, Media images and cultural norms that promote internalized oppression.

*Climate change and natural disasters

Trafficking in persons has been outlawed globally by three UN conventions known as the Palermo Protocols.  In the US by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and other legislation THE BASICS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING “Modern slaves are rarely held by chains, but instead slaveholders use violent force, fraud, and/or psychological coercion.”

January is National Anti-Trafficking Month and we will include here some resources for you, the toolkit provided by the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking and the Stations of the Cross and Prayer provided by the Mid Atlantic Coalition Against Modern Slavery:

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and Day of Prayer Tool Kit

Stations of the Cross and Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking Prayer

Consider the following actions to alleviate human trafficking

1.      Learn the indicators of human trafficking on the TIP Office’s website or by taking a training.  Human trafficking awareness training is available for individuals, businesses, first responders, law enforcement, educators, and federal employees, among others.

2.      If you are in the United States and believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, call the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline  at 1-888-373-7888 or report an emergency to law enforcement by calling 911. Trafficking victims, whether or not U.S. citizens, are eligible for services and immigration assistance.

3.      Be a conscientious and informed consumer. Find out more about who may have picked your tomatoes or made your clothes at , or check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor . Encourage companies to take steps to prevent human trafficking in their supply chains and publish the information, including supplier or factory lists, for consumer awareness.

4.      Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts in your community .

5.      Meet with and/or write to your local, state, and federal elected officials  to let them know you care about combating human trafficking and ask what they are doing to address it.

6.     Be well-informed. Set up a web alert to receive current human trafficking news. Also, check out CNN’s Freedom Project  for more stories on the different forms of human trafficking around the world.

7.     Host an awareness-raising event to watch and discuss films about human trafficking. For example, learn how modern slavery exists today; watch an investigative documentary about sex trafficking; or discover how forced labor can affect global food supply chains. Alternatively, contact your local library and ask for assistance identifying an appropriate book and ask them to host the event.

8.     Organize a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an anti-trafficking organization .

9.     Encourage your local schools or school district to include human trafficking in their curricula and to develop protocols  for identifying and reporting a suspected case of human trafficking or responding to a potential victim.

10.  Use your social media platforms to raise awareness about human trafficking, using the following hashtags: #endtrafficking, #freedomfirst.

11.  Think about whether your workplace is trauma-informed and reach out to management or the Human Resources team to urge implementation of trauma-informed business practices .

12.  Become a mentor to a young person or someone in need. Traffickers often target people who are going through a difficult time or who lack strong support systems. As a mentor, you can be involved in new and positive experiences in that person’s life during a formative time.

13.  Parents and Caregivers: Learn how human traffickers often target and recruit youth  and who to turn to for help in potentially dangerous situations. Host community conversations with parent teacher associations, law enforcement, schools, and community members regarding safeguarding children in your community.

14.  Youth: Learn how to recognize traffickers’ recruitment tactics , how to safely navigate out of a suspicious or uncomfortable situations, and how to reach out for help at any time.

15.  Faith-Based Communities : Host awareness events and community forums with anti-trafficking leaders or collectively support a local victim service provider.

16.  Businesses: Provide jobs, internships, skills training, and other opportunities to trafficking survivors. Take steps to investigate and prevent trafficking in your supply chains by consulting the Responsible Sourcing Tool and Comply Chain  to develop effective management systems to detect, prevent, and combat human trafficking.

17.  College Students: Take action  on your campus. Join or establish a university club to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout your local community. Consider doing one of your research papers on a topic concerning human trafficking. Request that human trafficking be included in university curricula.

18.  Health Care Providers: Learn  how to identify the indicators of human trafficking and assist victims. With assistance from local anti-trafficking organizations, extend low-cost or free services to human trafficking victims. Resources from the Department of Health and Human Services can be found on their website.

19.  Journalists: The media plays an enormous role in shaping perceptions and guiding the public conversation about human trafficking. Seek out some media best practices on how to effectively and responsibly report stories on human trafficking.

20.  Attorneys: Offer human trafficking victims legal services, including support for those seeking benefits or special immigration status. Resources  are available for attorneys representing victims of human trafficking.