Tag Archives: human trafficking; social justice

Celebration without Exploitation — human trafficking

14 Jul

by Sr. Dorothy Pagosa, SSJ-TOSF

Director of Social Justice

They call it human trafficking.  It is slavery. It is our responsibility as Franciscans, Christians, human beings to do what we can to end this horror.

Human trafficking always includes recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person to be used for:

  1. Labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion resulting in involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery;
  2. Sexual exploitation (physical, visual, verbal, etc.) in exchange for anything of value through force, fraud, or coercion; or
  3. Sexual exploitation of any kind  involving jobs
  4.  a person who is under 18 years old.

(United Nations’ and United States’ official definition)

Unfortunately, human trafficking has been recognized to occur during major sporting events through prostitution and hotel and other services. The Olympics are about to begin in London later this month.

“The Franciscan Federation (of which the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis is a member) has joined with Christian Brothers Investment Services, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, Fair Pensions, Franciscan Action Network and others in the fight to stop human trafficking at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games taking place in London from July 27 — August 12.” (Franciscan Federation Website www.franfed.org)

“We expect the IOC (International Olympic Committee)  going forward to incorporate clear guidelines on trafficking and slavery that include public reporting of results.  Our request is in line with the IOC’s Charter that includes support for environmental issues and sustainable development and with the requests made in our letters to companies,” said Rev. David Schilling, director of Human Rights, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

Find more info at www.iccr.org/issues/subpages/olympics_home.php  Celebration Without Exploitation.

Is human trafficking a real problem?

  • In 2005, the Department of Justice reported there have been an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 sex slaves in the U.S. since 2001 (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • In 2009, a University of Pennsylvania study estimated 300,000 youth in the U.S were at risk of being sexually exploited for commercial uses.(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
  • 1.2 million children are being trafficked every year throughout the world; this is in addition to the millions already held captive. (UNICEF)
  • The total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion (UN)
Look for these and other signs of human trafficking:
  • Evidence of being controlled
  • Inability to move or leave jobs
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Fear or depression
  • No forms of identification

If you suspect trafficking or want more information contact:

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center

888-373-7888 (toll free)

or NHTRC@PolarisProject.org

Additional information can be found at