July 30 is designated as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons by the United Nations. Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means(such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation. It is a global epidemic that reaches every corner of the earth, and those responsible make billions of dollars in profit each year. Slavery, long thought to be eradicated, has merely evolved and taken on new variations that make it more difficult to eliminate. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally; 75 percent of them are women and girls.
For US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, we are motivated in this work by our faith which calls us to honor the rights and dignity of every person as a beloved child of God. Pope Francis has described human trafficking as, “…an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ.” We are called to help heal the body of Christ by eliminating the root causes of this wound, seeking to transform societal conditions as well as the individual hearts and minds of those who engage in trafficking.
While every day offers us a new opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking, July 30th is a special day to join with the global community in renewing our commitment to end this form of modern-day slavery. Education is one way that we can all contribute to this joint work of ending human trafficking. We can share our testimonies and knowledge to shed light on the brutality of trafficking as well as the international efforts being made to fight it. We must not be afraid to speak our truths and amplify the voices that have been muffled or silenced by the epidemic of trafficking.
As technology continues to develop, many traffickers use it for their own nefarious purposes. However, we can also use it to bring people together in the common goal of ending human trafficking. We have created below some sample tweets and posts that you can share on social media on and leading up to July 30th to spread awareness. We also encourage you to add your own stories and tweets about why this work is important to you.
Use social media to educate others about human trafficking:
- Include: #EndHumanTrafficking
- Sample Posts:
- #DYK- There are different forms of #HumanTrafficking. – sexual exploitation – forced labor in different sectors e.g. agriculture, mines, domestic servants – organ removal – forced begging & marriage – buying & selling of children – child soldiers #EndHumanTrafficking
- #DYK – 30% of identified victims of #HumanTrafficking are children. Children are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labor, used as soldiers and sold like a commodity. Let’s raise awareness, protect the victims of this heinous crime & #EndHumanTrafficking!
- #DYK – #HumanTrafficking happens around us, every day? Worldwide 225,000 victims of trafficking were detected between 2003 – 2016. To protect victims, convict traffickers, and prevent the crime, states need to implement comprehensive national responses. #EndHumanTrafficking
- #DYK – Social media is increasingly used to contact, recruit & lure victims into the arms of traffickers? Let’s use those same platforms to raise awareness and #EndHumanTrafficking. Save in your phone and share the national #humantrafficking hotline (888) 373-7888.
- #DYK – More than ½of the victims of labor trafficking are adult men? Social and economic vulnerabilities make people vulnerable to the misleading promises of human traffickers. #EndHumanTrafficking
- #DYK – 7 out of 10 detected victims of #HumanTrafficking are women & girls? Governments must adopt comprehensive national responses to raise awareness, protect vulnerable groups, identify & support victims and ensure traffickers are brought to justice.#EndHumanTrafficking
- Check out these additional resources for further content and graphics to share on social media:
In addition to raising awareness through social media, there are other ways to take action on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
- If you are not already a member of US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking we encourage you to join us! We are stronger working together.
- You can donate and encourage your friends and family to donate to support our work providing direct services to survivors of human trafficking, advocating for laws and policies to protect victims and hold traffickers and johns accountable, and creating educational content to prevent human trafficking.
- In August we will be encouraging everyone to meet with their elected officials while they are on recess and back home in their in-district offices. You can get a head start on preparing for those meetings by reading up on our focused piece of legislation: The Central American Women and Children Protection Act.
- You can join in prayer for an end to human trafficking. Below is one short prayer option, and we also have additional prayer resources on our website.
Let us pray,
O God of every family on earth, loving and compassionate God, we come before you in prayer unable to fully comprehend the horror of women and men and children transported to unknown places to be exploited and abused because of greed and profit. We are people of many creeds, united in our sadness and our anger. We cry out together against the degrading practice of human trafficking. Our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are being transgressed through threats, deception, and force. Give us the wisdom and courage to stand up against the evil that makes it possible for people to buy and sell and trade others. Give us the wisdom and courage to stand in solidarity with the victims, that together we will find a way to the freedom that is your gift to all of us.
We pray for it to end. AMEN
(prayer from the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND), Canadian Province)