“He shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor. From extortion and violence he frees them, for precious is their blood in his sight.” – Psalm 72:13-14
“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that’s become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society …” – Pope Francis
Human trafficking occurs within almost every country and across most international borders. Today, 30 million1 people are bound in forced labor. The root cause of trafficking is poverty. Two and one-half billion people in the human family, attempting to exist on two dollars per day or less, are lured into trafficking or bound into indentured servitude that continues for generations, as a means of survival. In Southern California, victims of human trafficking can be enslaved in the garment industry, as housekeepers, care givers for the elderly or prostitutes. Today, human trafficking victims are getting younger, with many children and teenagers domestically trafficked through illicit social media contacts. Human trafficking demeans the dignity of the human person, fractures families and exploits workers. To counteract this global problem, supporting education, especially for girls excluded from educational opportunities and purchasing fair trade products to provide a living wage diminishes the lure of trafficking. Locally, in our communities, awareness and education about the signs of trafficking and supporting organizations addressing the issue will help free those enslaved and protect potential victims, especially youth, from becoming ensnared. (Catholic Relief Services)
In order to stop Human Trafficking, we need to understand it and know what actions to take. This is not merely a “foreign problem.” According to the California Attorney general, a Trafficker can make over $500,000 a year making this the fastest growing crime in the state.
- Host Information Sessions to educate parishioners on ways to recognize human trafficking
- Host a dynamic speaker on human trafficking in your parish
- Organize an adoption information forum in your parish, as the majority of victims of human trafficking are from foster care
- Contact the Diaconate Office to help organize an End the Demand presentation at your parish
- Organize a human trafficking movie screening at your parish and host a panel after the movie (Become a Shepherd ideas)
- Host a parish fundraiser or a second collection where all funds will be donated to local organization that fights against human trafficking
- Gather a group of parishioners and put up information flyers around your community. These information flyers should include the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
- Ethical Trade Awareness
- Be and ethical consumer and employer- Ethical Trade
- Offer ethical trade coffee at donut sales or other parish events, and have a sign that explains ethical trade: the impact, ways to support and ways to donate
- For Easter and Halloween sell ethical trade chocolate after Sunday Masses
- Reach out to neighboring schools and invite staff members to your Human Trafficking Information
Sessions and discuss ways you can collaborate
- Reach out to local school so that its staff is trained on this issue
- Send a parish rep to OC’s Human Trafficking Task Force Meetings on the 4th Tuesday of each month
- Report trafficking if you suspect it: National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
Prayer to Sr. Josephine Bakhita
St. Josephine Bakhita, you were sold into slavery
as a child and endured untold hardship and suffering.
Once liberated from your physical enslavement,
you found true redemption in your encounter with
Christ and his Church.
O St. Bakhita, assist all those who are trapped in a
state of slavery;
Intercede with God on their behalf
so that they will be released from their chains
Those whom man enslaves, let God set free.
Provide comfort to survivors of slavery
and let them look to you as an example of hope
Help all survivors find healing from their wounds.
We ask for your prayers and intercessions for
those enslaved among us.
- Human Trafficking Resource Bookmark (Bilingual)
- USCCB Trafficking Awareness flyer
- USCCB Identifying a Trafficking Victim
CONNECT WITH GREAT ORGANIZATIONS
OC Human Trafficking Task Force
Community Services Programs
National Human Trafficking Hotline
Sisters of St. Joseph of OC
Archdiocese of Los Angeles- Human Trafficking
Diocese of Oakland- Human Trafficking
USCCB – Anti-Human Trafficking
USCCB- Become a SHEPHERD
U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking
#EndSlavery– Vatican Anti-Trafficking Site
Catholic Health Association of the U.S.
Global Freedom Network
International Justice Mission (IJM)
Live 2 Free
Men As Peacemakers- Don’t Buy It Project
The Polaris Project- (888)-3737-888
Refuge for Women
Run to Rescue
Shared Hope International
Through God’s Grace
Unete a la Solucion