SOCIAL JUSTICE - FRANCISCAN ACTION & ADVOCACYAnti-Human Trafficking
“Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
– From the United Nations
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AHT Legislative Advocacy Subcommittee Meetings
Our next Anti-Human Trafficking Legislative Advocacy Subcommittee meeting will be announced shortly.
AHT Fundraising & Resources Subcommittee
Our next Anti-Human Trafficking Fundraising and Resources Subcommittee meeting will be announced shortly.
Human trafficking is a horrific crime against the fundamental rights and dignity of the human person. The United Nations Protocol on Human Trafficking defines it as “the “recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons by means of force, fraud or coercion.”
According to the U.S. State Department, every country in the world is affected by trafficking. The United States is no exception, serving as a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children – both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. According to the State Department’s 2012 annual Trafficking in Persons Report, federal and state human trafficking data indicate more investigations and prosecutions have taken place for sex trafficking than labor trafficking in the U.S.; however, victim service providers reported assisting significantly higher numbers of foreign national victims in cases of labor trafficking than in cases of sex trafficking. Non-governmental and religious organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have noted increasing reports of children recruited into criminal activity, particularly at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as traveling sales crews and peddling rings utilizing the forced labor of children and adults.
The Catholic Church’s vehement opposition to human trafficking is rooted in principles of Catholic social teaching, central to which is the sacredness and dignity of human life, and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which “forbids acts or enterprises that, for any reason, lead to the enslavement of human beings – to their being bought, sold, and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration’s Statement On Human Trafficking clearly outlines the Church’s teaching on human trafficking, noting “Human trafficking is a horrific crime against the basic dignity and rights of the human person. All efforts must be expended to end it.”
For over a decade the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been a leader in the U.S. and global response to human trafficking, and has even established an Anti-Trafficking Program within the Migration and Refugee Services Department to coordinate the response of the U.S. Church.
– From the USCCB
Our parish Anti-Human Trafficking Committee is honored to be an official USCCB Anti-Trafficking SHEPHERD parish, as well as to be affiliated with law enforcement and the following leading organizations and partners: International Justice Mission; Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative; ACTS SAVAS; Greater Prince William Human Trafficking Task Force; Prince William County Gang Response Intervention Team; Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking; Central Virginia Justice Initiative; Virginia Catholic Conference, among others.
We endorse the Global Freedom Network
Eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking across the world by 2020 is the objective of a ground-breaking announcement from Pope Francis and the Vatican. This unprecedented agreement among representatives of major faiths inaugurates the Global Freedom Network (GFN). To learn more, please visit: http://www.gfn2020.org/.
“In our city there are people committing human sacrifice, killing the dignity of these men and these women, these girls and boys that are submitted to this treatment, to slavery. We cannot remain calm.” …. The cardinal urged his fellow citizens to report “breeding grounds for submission, for slavery,” “altars where human sacrifices are offered and which break the will of the people,” asking that “everyone do what they can, but without washing their hands of it, because otherwise we are complicit in this slavery.”
– Pope Francis in a mass for victims of trafficking,
he condemned human trafficking in a manner both concrete and demanding
Above: On December 2, 2014 at the Vatican City in Rome, Pope Francis was joined by Mata Amritanandamayi – renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader, known as “Amma” and 10 other world religious leaders in a ceremonial signing of a Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery, an initiative of the Global Freedom Network.
February 8 is the Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. On the Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita, we pray for the millions of people that have been victims of modern day slavery. Like St. Josephine Bakhita, may we stand firm in our resolve to create a slave‐free world.
Parish Anti-Human Trafficking Committee
- Andrea Saccoccia
- Ulli Vaerst
- Sherri Mason
- Gary Burton, O.F.S.
- Gene Sellers
- Rebecca DeVilliers
- Jan Floom
- Margie Petrizza
- Debra Gutierrez
- Bob Eves
- Betty Leach
- Shannon Berkeley-Scott
- Isabella Clemente
- Odie Esparza
- Shawn Hudson
- Patti Minicucci
- Richard Koehl
- Mary Lou Koehl
- Tricia Morzenti
- Lisa Schmitt
- Hope Thomas
- Shawni McGraw
- Eileen Hartigan
- Shannon Raczynski
- Rosa Pugsley
- Joyce Glaze
- Linda Coleman
- Teena Miller
- Torrie Sleeper
- Lou Feaman
- John Wanat
- Nydia Quinones-Ramos
- Vanessa Griffin
For more information on the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee, please contact Br. Henry Fulmer, OFM: