A Toolkit for Action: Modern Slavery
Use the resources contained within this 40-page packet to explore modern-day slavery and learn how you can help.
Observe Human Trafficking Awareness Day
January 11, 2013
The year 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Because of the groundbreaking work of our ancestors, slavery was outlawed in the United States. However the legacies of chattle slavery continue to haunt our society even as we turn to face a new form of slavery: human trafficking. More than 20.9 million people are estimated to work in conditions of forced labor world-wide according to the International Labour Organisation. On January 11, consider marking human trafficking day with prayer and action.
Resources for Worship and Reflection:
- A reflection from the Rev. Dr. Arlene Gordon, honorably retired teaching elder in the PC(USA) and president of the National Black Presbyterian Caucus
- Sermon seeds for the lectionary passages for Sunday, January 13, 2013
- A prayer
- A minute for mission
- Hymn suggestions
- 2013 Mission Yearbook- Human Trafficking Awareness
- Learn more what products of slavery are produced with child and slave labor through this interactive website from Anti-Slavery International. Estimate your “slavery footprint”.
We hope that you will share with us how you have used these resources and what you are doing in your congregation or presbytery to draw awareness to human trafficking and how we can work to prevent it. Drop us a line at HTRoundtable@pcusa.org.
U.S. State Department releases Trafficking in Persons Report for 2012
This report, which is mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, assesses the progress being made by nations in addressing human trafficking around the world and in the United States.
Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012
In 2010, Member States renewed their commitment to the fight against trafficking in persons when the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (A/RES/64/293). In the framework of the Global Plan of Action, the General Assembly mandated UNODC to publish a Global Report on Trafficking in Persons every two years, starting in 2012. Read the full report.
Human Trafficking = Modern-Day Slavery
Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining by any means any person for forced labor, slavery or servitude in any industry or site such as agriculture, construction, prostitution, manufacturing, begging, domestic service or marriage. Learn more
An estimated 800,000 people, of which approximately 80 percent are women and up to 50 percent are minors, are trafficked across national borders. This number does not include the millions of people who are trafficked within their countries of origin. (Trafficking in Persons Report, U.S. Department of State, 2008).
Some 2.5 million people throughout the world are at any given time recruited, entrapped, transported and exploited — a process called human trafficking (U.N. Office on Crime and Drugs, cited in U.N. Human Trafficking Rapporteur’s report of March 2009)
The International Labor Organization (ILO) — the United Nations agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment and social protection issues — estimates that there are 12.3 million people in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor and sexual servitude at any given time; other estimates range from 4 million to 27 million. (Trafficking in Persons Report, U.S. Department of State, 2008).
Affirming that Jesus Christ came that “they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b), the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has convened a roundtable from among its ministries to address human trafficking together with synods, presbyteries and local congregations. The roundtable includes representatives from Child Advocacy, Immigration, World Mission, Presbyterian Hunger Program, Mission Responsibility through Investment, Presbyterian Women, Jinishian Memorial Program and Presbyterian Health Education and Welfare.
To lift up the issue of modern-day slavery, provide resources and advocate for further action to eradicate human trafficking, the roundtable is:
- Creating a matrix of reliable organizations involved in combating human trafficking.
- Developing this Web site to connect congregations and groups.
- Producing a human trafficking packet of resources including, sermons, Bible studies, book suggestions, DVDs and more.
- Providing take action opportunities to address human trafficking through corporate campaigns, legislative action, shareholder initiatives.
- Linking with the Freedom Network USA to provide human trafficking awareness trainings among interested presbyteries. Contact Noelle Damico to learn more about this opportunity.
Bulletin insert on human trafficking
A Violation of Human Rights
Violations of human rights are both a cause and a consequence of human trafficking. Trafficking is a grave violation of human rights, the right to liberty and human dignity and the right not to be held in slavery or involuntary servitude. But trafficking is related to a wide range of other human rights violations as traffickers prey on those who are poor, under- or unemployed or who face discrimination. The PC(USA) promotes the integration of a human rights perspective into all antitrafficking laws, policies and procedures, domestic and international, so as to ensure the rights and well-being of children, women and men who have been trafficked. To learn more about how human trafficking is a violation of human rights, download the March 2009 report from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
A global phenomenon in our backyard
Modern-day slavery is a global phenomenon that manifests itself in the United States as well. From the fishing industry in Ghana, the brothels of Thailand, to domestic workers enslaved by a husband and wife in their Long Island home or farmworkers harvesting tomatoes in Florida fields, slavery is alive and well in a new form in the 21st century. Indeed, some of the products we wear or consume were produced using slave labor. Our whole society, from corporations to law enforcement, from the U.S. Justice Department to the church, must be involved if we are to put an end to human trafficking once and for all.
This is one more reason why I'm proud to be a Presbyterian. Once again the PCUSA is being prophetic through its actions and effective in promoting justice and righteousness through collaboration with others. Eastminster Presbytery is currently working with a faith-based ecumenical organization to address human trafficking in northeastern Ohio. It's good to know that GAMC provides resources and training upon which we may draw.