Human Trafficking

Six ways to take action

1. Recognize that human trafficking takes place in your community.
You can’t do something about a problem until you recognize that it is a problem. Men, women and children are being exploited for labor and sex in every state of the U.S. as well as the District of Columbia.

2. Learn the human trafficking indicators.
What to look for: signs of physical abuse; submissive or fearful behavior; scripted, rehearsed answers to questions; rarely allowed to be alone; living in poor conditions, living with employer or with many others in limited space; works long or odd hours for little or no pay; has no control over own finances; has few personal possessions; provides inconsistent information.

3. Share what you learn.
Ask your professional association to include anti-trafficking information at conferences or workshops; bring in a speaker for a lunch and learn at work; get public awareness materials from the Department of Homeland Security and share them with family, friends and neighbors. Ask for a speaker to address your parish.

4. Support local anti-trafficking efforts.
Volunteer to work with trafficking victims or to do community outreach. Become an anti-trafficking advocate: join or start a grassroots anti-trafficking coalition; meet with or write to your federal and state lawmakers and urge them to support anti-trafficking legislation; write a letter about the issue to your local newspaper. Give: donate money and/or goods to your local anti-trafficking organization; sponsor a fundraising event to benefit victims.

5. Use social media.
Post a link on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest to newspaper articles, photos, statistics and short film clips — anything that can start a conversation about slavery in today’s society.

6. Pray.
Pray for the victims, that God may ease their suffering and deliver them from their bondage. Pray for the traffickers, that they may realize the harm they do to the lives of others and the damage to themselves.”

Congregational stand against human trafficking

Heeding Pope Francis’ call to fight “modern forms of enslavement” the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities have taken a congregational stand against human trafficking.

The sisters are using social media to educate their members, supporters, policymakers and the general public about the issue and to help people recognize the signs of trafficking and identifying resource centers for victims. The sisters also monitor human trafficking-related state and federal legislation and issuing calls to action when appropriate.