The Congregation is committed to ending Human Trafficking in the world. In the U.S., we are beginning to raise awareness of the issue through education sessions for all our sisters and associates. We are members of the Coalition United against Human Trafficking and we provide them with office space in our St. Austin Center.
Through Legislative Advocacy we advocate for laws in the U.S. Congress and Texas Legislature to provide protection and support for victims of Human Trafficking and also laws to apprehend and prosecute the Traffickers. We partner with organizations providing direct service to victims of Human Trafficking such as St. Mary’s Place, Long Beach, CA; Faith and Justice Worker Center, Houston providing services to victims of Labor Trafficking.
Human Trafficking Campaigns and Awareness Events
The Blue Campaign
The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice. To get involved, visit: their website at: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Established in the United States, January 11, marks National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. There are millions of slaves on the earth today, including millions of children who will never see the inside of a classroom. Plan to learn something this month about Modern Day Slavery. Visit: https://www.sistersagainsttrafficking.org/, website of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking.
Saint Josephine Bakhita
February marks the honor of Saint Josephine Bakhita who was born in the Sudan around the year 1869. As a child, she experienced the anguish of being kidnapped and held in slavery. After obtaining her freedom in 1890, she was baptized and received the Sacraments of Initiation of the Catholic Church. She entered the Canossians Daughters of Charity religious order in 1893. To learn more about her life, see this video: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=5601
Asking the right questions will help you determine if the person in front of you is a victim of trafficking who needs your help.
Key Questions to Ask:
- What type of work do you do?
- Are you being paid?
- Can you leave your job if you want to?
- Can you come and go as you please?
- Have you or your family been threatened?
- What are your working and living conditions like?
- Where do you sleep and eat?
- Do you have to ask permission to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom?
- Are there locks on your doors/windows so you cannot get out?
- Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?
Victims of human trafficking may look like many of the people you help every day.
Look for the Following Clues:
- Evidence of being controlled
- Evidence of inability to move or leave job
- Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
- Fear or depression
- Not speaking on own behalf and/or non-English speaking
- No passport or other forms of identification or documentation