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7/8/2014 8:16:00 AM
Be aware of human trafficking
Catholic News Service
Photo illustration of young woman depicts human trafficking.
Catholic News Service
Photo illustration of young woman depicts human trafficking.

To the Catholic Sentinel:

The Sisters of St. Francis’ Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking is committed to raising awareness that human trafficking is happening, even  in Iowa.  Knowing the signs will help keep our kids safe and to help rescue those who are not.  

According to the International Labor Organization, human trafficking is a $32 billion industry, second in organized crime behind illicit drugs.  As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of “labor or services,” such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will.  They estimate that there are almost 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide.    Approximate 5.5 million of those are children. Fourteen million of those are victims of labor exploitation.

Vulnerable people are trafficked in the sex trade and labor industry every day in America.  This is a human rights crime that demands our attention.

People can learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking – visit PolarisProject.org.

Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 1-888-3737-888 to get help or report a tip.

Ask your federal legislators to support efforts to prevent labor trafficking and support the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act.  

Saving people from becoming victims of human trafficking is all our responsibility.   

Laura Anderson, Sr. Nancy Miller and Lori Freudenberg
Clinton, Iowa

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