During the past several years, the work of the coalition was affected by Covid-19. We have been unable to visit businesses with anti-human trafficking posters, to gather volunteers for education or activities, or to give presentations to parish groups. We did, however, become more proficient in Zoom meetings and continued our monthly gatherings at which we discussed online activities and legislative advocacy, welcomed guest speakers, and shared ideas from counties and local groups in which individual coalition members participate.
One of the yearly projects of the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking (SFCAHT) is a teen contest in which students submit depictions of human trafficking according to a given theme in poster, essay and musical form. As a result of this contest, teens study and learn about human trafficking and become aware of its dangers and how to recognize it. For several years, the coalition has assisted with this project by providing information and materials about these contests to Catholic high schools in the Bay Area.
The theme for the 2022 contest was “Shine Light on the Darkness.” One of the winning posters, among the many amazing contributions, is:
The San Joaquin County Human Trafficking Task Force hopes to inspire teens in their county to study human trafficking and to submit their entries next year for the End It Summit that takes place annually on January 11, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
WORK CONTINUES ON SB 1193
As our state opens up more, our work continues on updating and placing notices about human trafficking in businesses that are required by law to post the information.
Sister John Paul Chao, smsm, worked for months to update the poster and the letter from the Alameda County D.A.’s office. She is pictured here with the Assistant D.A. in charge of human trafficking, Sharmin Bock, and the H.E.A.T. Watch (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Coordinator, Fiona Bock, who gave her hundreds of copies of the new poster and letter. With these in hand, Sister John Paul and her faithful volunteers are once again on the road visiting bars, massage parlors, hotels, and 10 other business establishments.
A FOND FAREWELL
Sister Marie Jeanne Gaillac, CSJ, worked tirelessly in numerous Coalition projects since the beginning of the Coalition in 2006.
In more recent years, she was very instrumental in helping to establish the Interfaith Subcommittee of the SF Collaborative Against Human Trafficking. At their annual award ceremony this year, Sister Marie was recognized for her tireless work: “Age is easy to measure. Passion is not. Sister Marie has shown us that a passion for human trafficking victims has no age limits. In 2006 at the age of 76, Sister Marie became one of the founding members of the Northern California Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking. For 16 years, she was a dedicated, tireless and very active member.”
In April, at the age of 92, Sister Marie moved to the retirement center of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Orange County. You will be sorely missed by all, Sister Marie. We wish you all the best in your new home!
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
The Senate has introduced a critical bi-partisan anti-trafficking bill – The Abolish Trafficking Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S. 3946) will reauthorize The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017. For over 20 years, the TVPA has helped protect vulnerable children and provide services for survivors of exploitation. Among other things, this new bill would reform current standards for child sex crime victims who were forced into the criminal justice system. Call your senators today and ask them to vote to reauthorize this bill. The U.S. Capitol switchboard number is: Capitol switchboard number is: (202) 224-3121.