January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

This information was originally distributed by WATER:

January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Human trafficking, referred to as modern-day slavery, is the fastest growing and second most profitable criminal industry in the world. More than 27 million women, men, and children have become victims of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation. Trafficking can and does occur in all parts of the world, including the U.S. Large sporting events like the Super Bowl attract human trafficking, especially for sexual exploitation of women. Read Mary E. Hunt’s new article on human trafficking entitled “Women and Children First.”

Stories of Trafficking
Excerpted from www.polarisproject.org

Amanda learned that her cousin was with a pimp who was advertising her for commercial sex on various websites.

A teacher became concerned about one of her students, a 14 year-old girl, and spoke with classmates who directed the teacher to multiple postings advertising the young girl for commercial sex on backpage.com.
A woman in Cameroon contacted the National Human Trafficking Resource Center about a friend who had moved to the U.S. several years ago whom the caller feared was a victim of domestic servitude.

With four children between them and a 16-year relationship, Mari couldn’t imagine leaving Darrell. She didn’t see any viable options, even though he was physically abusive and forced her into commercial sex when money was tight.

Brittany met a man at her local mall who offered her a job at his restaurant. Instead of working as a waitress, Brittany was forced to sell sex in a hotel room.

And many more….

Prayer of Solidarity

Holy Compassion, you who hear the cries of those in anguish,
Be with us now to bring them to safety and to speak out against those who exploit.

Holy Love, you who shout with us “No” to human trafficking in all its forms,
Be with us now to restore freedom to the trafficked and their families.

Holy Justice, you who rage with us against the injustices of trafficking,
Be with us now to take action to prevent and end this violence.

Holy Wisdom, you who know the worth of every human being,
Be with us as we erase this sinful practice from the face of the earth.

© Diann L. Neu, Co-director of WATER, dneu@hers.com

Take Action

Seek Help. Report a tip. Call the Polaris Project trafficking hotline 1.888.3737.888:

Recognize the signs of trafficking:

When you travel, check out the “Human trafficking letter to hotels” developed by the Sisters of Mercy Justice Team:

Learn more about human trafficking by reading the recent issue of Centerings on trafficking by the 8th Day Center for Justice:

Use prayer services from the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center:

Support the International Violence Against Women Act:

Prevent trafficking at the Super Bowl:

Watch Lives for Sale, a documentary on immigration and trafficking produced by Maryknoll and Lightfoot Films in association with Faith & Values Media:

Encourage airlines to sign The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children so that their employees will be alert to the warning signs that traveling children might be victims of trafficking.

Categories: Activism, Human Rights, Rape Culture, Sexual Violence, Social Justice, Violence Against Women

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1 reply

  1. http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/?hpt=hp_bn5

    CNN has been covering this issue well for some time.

    The issue of women trafficked into prostitution into Greece from Eastern Europe was first brought to my attention some 20 years ago by a series of horrifying articles in the Athens News telling of young women lured to Greece with promises of jobs in bars. On arrival their passports are confiscated and they are repeatedly raped until they are ready to be turned out. Men who visit prostitutes are looked upon with a wink and a smile in this country and women who have been trafficked often do not speak of it.

    The last time I got a residence permit before getting my citizenship I stood in line for hours, the last several with 2 Russian women married to Greek brothers from a neighboring island; when I asked about their lives one of them rolled her eyes and said it was hell and that they were abused by their mother-in-law, a mean-looking woman who had gone to look for a toilet. The older of the two women told me she was educated and that she had lost her job prospects in the “new” Russa in which in which available jobs go to men. Later I put two and two together and realized that these two women had probably viewed marriage to men they didn’t love as a better option than being forced to do “extra work” in the bar jobs they had had prior to their marriages in Greece.

    My heart breaks when I think about them.

    And I know many if not most of the men in my village have probably visited trafficked prostitutes at the local “dancing bar” if only to watch while drinking with their buddies.


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