JPIC – Human Trafficking, USA
August 22, 2015
SND•USA – July 23 through July 26, 2015
More that 400 Sisters of Notre Dame assembled to pray, celebrate and have conversation about their future together in the United States. By 2020, the four North American provinces will become one province.
In addition to the large group gatherings, sisters were able to attend “lunch and learn” sessions in smaller groups according to individual interest.
One such group was JPIC – Human Trafficking, which garnered in the largest interest group. During the time together the sisters heard about the activities of each province on this topic. Additionally the group prepared 2,000 bars of hotel soaps with the Trafficking Hot Line phone number to provide victims with a way to contact help. These bars of soap will be distributed to several hotels and be put in the individual rooms.
More than ten years ago, all four North American Provinces, California, Chardon, Covington and Toledo, made public Corporate Stances against Human Trafficking. Since then sisters, associates and collaborators in all provinces have been very engaged in many creative activities toward this end:
- Many sisters continue to be educated and to pray for those caught in the many forms of human slavery. They have joined freedom walks through downtown areas where many persons are kept as labor slaves. They attend symposiums on the many facets of human slavery and continue to read and educate themselves and others about this evil in the world.
- Several sisters are involved in education at the high school, college, young adult, parents, faculty, students and the general public levels. RCIA Groups, Rotary Clubs, Parish on-going education gatherings have asked for information.
- Advocating for police, law enforcement and judicial personnel training sessions; information for the staff of hotel/motel establishments, heightened police vigilance at large sports gatherings, engagement of groups who are high risk for being trafficked, immigration persons.
- Street and strip club outreach, “prostitution” sweeps, Safe Harbor for juveniles picked up on the street, collaboration with a variety of social service agencies and advocacy groups.
- Providing direct services to those rescued from trafficked situations, housing, advocacy, empowerment classes, leadership training, and assistance for testifying against their perpetrators.
The list goes on and on. Each one of us can be a part of lessening this evil.
“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 individual, but the
foundational values of society.”