Human Trafficking = Modern-Day Slavery
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). 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.
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 the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns, Office of the General Assembly- Immigration Issues, Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Men, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, Presbyterian Women, Self Development of People, World Mission.
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.
A Toolkit for Action: Modern Slavery - Use the resources contained withing this 40-page packet to explore modern-day slavery and learn how you can help. Download
Bulletin Insert on Human Trafficking: Download
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 most current report from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
Human Trafficking Awareness
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.