July, 2019 Monthly ReflectionJuly 1, 2019
New Resources Available From IJPC and FADICA
by Sally Duffy, SC
The deeper and thicker the mud, the more beautiful the lotus flower. The cover of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center’s (IJPC) new Anti-Human Trafficking Toolkit is a lotus flower.
IJPC is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and the founding sponsors were five women religious congregations. IJPC’s vision is a just and peaceful world and is now sponsored by eighteen interfaith organizations, including six congregations of women religious. IJPC’s key strategies for achieving their vision is partnering to work for structures that are inclusive and equitable, intentionally collaborating for systemic and structural change, and engaging in social analysis and action. IJPC’s website is www.ijpccincinnati.org
IJPC’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace, challenge unjust local, national and global systems, and promote the creation of a nonviolent society. IJPC is supported by faith-based organizations and individuals who work together to educate around justice issues, take collaborative action and do public witness. They address local, national and international concerns focusing on the death penalty, immigration, human trafficking and peace and nonviolence.
The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center of Cincinnati recently announced two resources. The first is a Media Toolkit which will assist media with responsible reporting and covering a story on trafficking without being predatory or exploitative. This is an effort to avoid the dangers or re-victimization or re-traumatizing survivors.
“The cover image for the toolkits is a lotus flower. The lotus is a flower that grows in the mud. The deeper and thicker the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms.”
According to Samantha Searls, Program Manager for IJPC, the Media Toolkit was created to show the systemic complexity of human trafficking. This will help to shift the narrative from the stereotypical story of someone kidnapped, bound up, duct-taped mouth and chained, to a broader and more complex narrative of manipulation, coercion, bad relationships and often addiction. This more complex narrative will help victims see themselves and their experiences represented in the media, which may encourage them to ask for help.
This Media Toolkit will help journalists and reporters educate the public about all the complex ways human trafficking happens to individuals. The Media Toolkit also provides a guide on what not to say and what to say when reporting on trafficking stories. An example is to say “sex trafficker” rather than “pimp”. The reason is because the term sex trafficker “connotes the criminality and human rights abuses the person is engaging in and avoids some of the pop culture stereotypes of what a ‘pimp’ is.” Another term is saying “survivor” and not “slave;” as well as, saying “commercial sexual exploitation of children” rather than “child prostitution.” There are additional examples in the toolkit.
The second resource is an Anti-Human Trafficking Toolkit for the public. This resource provides an understanding of the who, what, where, why, when of human trafficking, and how to act to recognize human trafficking and to provide assistance; as well as additional Do’s and Don’ts.
Both resources are available at IJPC’s website: www.ijpccincinnati.org
Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) recently published a report called “Agents of Awakening: A Review of Anti-Human Trafficking Activities at U.S. Colleges and Universities.”The report was featured in the Spring 2019 CARA newsletter.
FADICA, through the leadership of their president, Alexia Kelley, was instrumental in helping to catalyze the first gathering of Sisters that led to the formation of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT).
The conclusion on page six of the report states: “Human trafficking is a global scourge that will not be easily eradicated. However, the impact of the numerous anti-trafficking activities at Catholic institutions and the programs featured in this report inspire hope for progress in the work to end human trafficking.” Some key findings of the report highlighted by CARA on page eight were that:
- Of approximately 200 Catholic institutions surveyed, 102 colleges and universities are engaged in anti-trafficking activities;
- Catholic campuses are vital incubators for survivor-based work;
- Establishing and maintaining partnerships with other universities, organizations, local law enforcement agencies, and across departments is crucial for programs to continue their success.
This information would be a helpful resource in terms of increased collaboration with college students. A link to this FADICA Report is https://publications.fadica.org/main. USCSAHT is grateful to FADICA and their membership for sharing this resource.
Sally Duffy, SC, serves on the board of US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking and previously served on the board of FADICA.