January 01, 2017
“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that’s become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society.”
– Pope Francis
President Obama designated January 2017 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by presidential proclamation on December 28, 2016. This month provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness about human trafficking and trafficking prevention. As noted by the President, “[d]uring National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we resolve to shine a light on every dark corner where human trafficking still threatens the basic rights and freedoms of others.”
Human trafficking, a form of modern slavery, is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. And no matter where you live, chances are it’s happening nearby. From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom. Many specialists agree that more people are trafficked in the garment industry than any other industry on the planet. It can be disturbing to learn that things we take for granted as part of our daily lives—chocolate, clothes, coffee, cellphones–are frequently made under conditions that aren’t simply unjust, but that can only be described as slavery.
Pray for those who are still enslaved.