As Christians, we are called by our Baptism to "seek and serve Christ in all persons" and to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being." (BCP, 305)
"Human trafficking is the global trade in persons through the recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, and/or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Nearly every country on earth is complicit in this pernicious practice by sourcing, transiting, or fueling the demand for trafficked persons. According to the International Labor Organization there are an estimated 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, including 5.5 million children.
An issue of longstanding passion, service, and advocacy within The Episcopal Church, combating human trafficking is also a priority for the 114th Congress. Our voices as Episcopalians will be needed in the upcoming months to ensure that our decision makers are aware of the need to address this issue and that, as stated in our resolutions, Congress addresses human trafficking that prioritizes victim recovery and reintegration into society."
Human Trafficking is not an issue that only happens elsewhere. There is a significant need to combat human trafficking here in CT. Thankfully there are great individuals and organizations working on the issue of Human Trafficking. Dr. Mary Decker (St. John's, East Windsor) has been researching this issue, as a program area of the Episcopal Church Women and has assembled resources including a recommended model for parishes beginning to explore the issue.
Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7388
Frank Barnaba lives in Chester CT, 860-575-1195
Books: Empty Cradles; Half the Sky, My Piece of the Sky; Hidden Girl; Sold
Movies: My Life, My Choice (United Methodist Church); I Choose
Suggested action ideas for parishes to start work on this issue (adapted from Dr. Mary Decker)
- Establish a Women's Global Network group to focus on human trafficking with a goal of raising awareness in the congregation and have two women from the group visit the local police stations. Explain that you are studying human trafficking and want to learn any information they can provide. Report the findings back to the Women's group, rector, and parish.
- Create a display table (or similar) with brochures and other material, to raise awareness
- Host an event at your parish: Invite a police officer, social worker, or someone from an organization that addresses human trafficking