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Human rights and opposition to human trafficking
are concerns of the church in this season of love

January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day

By Ann Tiemeyer

Editor's note: Pastor Tiemeyer directs the Women's Ministries program of the National Council of Churches.

New York, December 10, 2008 -- Sixty years ago today, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which begins with these words:  “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, . . .”   The full text appears on the UN website here.

Six decades later, gross violations of the declaration continue unabated. Human Trafficking is the fasting growing criminal industry in the world and -- after drug dealing --  is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry.

Humanity still struggles to live out the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Education and awareness are the first steps in addressing the injustice of Human Trafficking that affects more than 800,000 people each year around the world and within the United States.

The NCC at the September 2008 Governing Board adopted a resolution on Human Trafficking

In the resolution, NCC member communions agreed to observe January 11th as Human Trafficking Awareness Day through prayer, reflection, education and actions that will assist in bringing an end to these forms of modern day slavery.

To assist in this process, the NCC is providing a downloadable bulletin insert for use on Sunday, January 11. 

Also downloadable is a new hymn entitled:  People Held In Bondage” by Grace Pugh Hubbard, which was first used at the Ecumenical Conference on Human Trafficking in October 2008. 

If you plan to use this hymn, please contact Grace at the information provided on the hymn.  Additional list of materials from member communions can be found on the webpage at

Also, through the season of Epiphany continue to check the NCC website for additional information and materials from varies member communions of the NCC about their work to end Human Trafficking. 

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228,

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