I am aware as I write this welcome message that many of you are in areas impacted by extreme weather events - the wild fires out West, hurricanes along the gulf coast, or the derecho that passed through the Mid-West. Please know that you are in my prayers, as are all those affected. We know that these increasing extreme weather events are connected to climate change, and as populations are forced to evacuate and re-locate it is the most vulnerable who continue to be at greatest risk for human trafficking. These systems of harm and exploitation are connected and as we work to end human trafficking we also work to prevent rising global temperatures and ensure structures in place to protect the poor and vulnerable.
This time of year in the U.S. is also when students are resuming classes, many now virtual due to the pandemic. As children continue to spend increased amounts of time online we have to continue to do all we can to protect them from traffickers looking to take advantage of their innocence and curiosity. Thank you to all who have signed onto our petition to Attorney General Barr to enforce the Protect Our Children Act of 2008! We will be sending that petition in to him next week. Please also be sure to check out this month's Stop Trafficking Newsletter focused on educating about human trafficking in schools.
Coming up at the end of the month is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and we will be sending out a special communication next week with resources for you to engage around human trafficking and migration. As always, please let us know what you are up to and how we can help support your work to end human trafficking and support survivors. Thank you for all you do!
Jennifer Reyes Lay Executive Director of USCSAHT
Monthly Member Reflection
Words Do Make a Difference
by Kris Wade, Executive Director of The Justice Project KC
As awareness of present-day slavery expands, more attention is being given to human trafficking through prostitution. Prostitution is often viewed as a “victimless crime.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Hazards include rape, robbery, assault, exposure to sexually transmitted illnesses, and most unfortunately death at the hands of violent tricks, drug dealers, or pimps. Because of their poverty, homelessness, hunger, and /or addiction, many of the women served by the Justice Project KC have been exploited, victimized, and severely traumatized through prostitution.... Read more
Stop Trafficking Newsletter
Human Trafficking in America's Schools
Both traffickers and trafficking victims can be found in schools, playgrounds, and other places where children and teenagers congregate. The US Department of Education has developed Human Trafficking in America's Schools, a free guide for school staff that includes information about risk factors, recruitment, and how to identify trafficking, what to do if you suspect trafficking, including sample school protocols and policies; and other resources and potential partnership opportunities. The publication has served as a guide to school districts throughout the nation.... Read more
October 7th Webinar: Human Trafficking in Native American Communities
As we approach Indigenous People's Day on October 12th this year, we invite you to attend an informative and moving webinar on the reality of human trafficking within Indigenous communities, particularly the violence that is happening toward indigenous women and the MMIW (missing and murdered indigenous women) campaign to raise awareness about these crimes. We are honored to have Rep. Tamara St. John as our main presenter for this webinar. Rep. St. John is a registered member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribe and archivist for the tribe. She serves as a state representative to the South Dakota House of Representatives. A member of the USCSAHT Advocacy working group will also share about related federal legislation to support indigenous women. To register for this webinar click on the button below.
Thank you so much to all who have already signed our letter to Attorney General Barr to protect children from online trafficking. We have passed our 1000 signature goal and raised it now to 1500! If you haven't signed on yet please do so and encourage your friends, families, and congregations to do so as well. We will be sending in the petition September 21.
U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking will be exhibiting at the virtual Ignatian Family Teach-In at the end of October. If you are attending the conference, we hope you will stop by to say hello and share your passion to end human trafficking with other attendees! If you know others who are attending, please encourage them to stop by our virtual booth as well. We have new membership levels for students and would love to start some USCSAHT chapters in Jesuit high schools and universities. You can help us spread the word!
Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking
Oh God, we didn't see them. But you did- The hundreds and thousands of human beings trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in modern-day slavery.
Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plow fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes and haul water.
Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs and small shoulders for bearing rifles.
Their labor is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden from those who don't really want to see them.
But you see them all, God of the poor. You hear their cry and you answer by opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts and loosening our tongues to insist:
No más. No more.
Human Trafficking and Children
Trafficking has become the most lucrative crime business after drugs (US State Department), because the merchandise can be sold over and over again. According to UNICEF, the global market for child trafficking alone brings in over 12 billion dollars per year, with over 1-2 million child victims.
Since the trafficking of children is often more hidden, this crime actually may be under-reported. The majority of trafficked children are sexually exploited, but other ways in which trafficked children are exploited are for forced labor, service as child soldiers, begging, drug smuggling, forced marriage, as domestic servants, for illegal adoptions or for the removal of their organs.
Trafficking in children is child slavery and a gross violation of human rights.... Read more