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January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day 


New York, January 10, 2012 – Wednesday, by act of Congress, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S., and faith based organizations are calling upon Americans to become more aware of the millions who are victimized by trafficking – and more involved in finding ways to stop it.

While estimates of the numbers vary widely, the U. S. Government recently reported that 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year; 80 percent of them are female and almost half are minors.

These figures do not include the millions who are trafficked into labor and sexual slavery within national borders.

 

The International Labor Organization (ILO) – the United Nations agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment and social protection issues – estimates there are 12.3 million people in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, and sexual servitude at any give time; other estimates range from 4 million to 27 million. (United States Department of State, “Trafficking in Person Report”, June 2007


The U.S. State Department estimates traffickers make $32 billion annually in their illicit trade.

The Rev. Ann Tiemeyer, program director of National Council of Churches Women’s Ministries, said the issue of trafficking is increasingly urgent.

“As Christians, we believe that all human beings are made in the image of God, that every person is of intrinsic worth before God and that every individual has a right to the fullest possible opportunities for the development of life abundant and eternal,” Tiemeyer said, citing the NCC’s human rights policy statement.

“Human trafficking denigrates the values of human life, exposes victim to serious health risks, endangers the mental well-being of victims and impedes the ability of victims to reach their full God-give potential,” Tiemeyer said.

She cited programs of several NCC member communions to confront trafficking. Here is a partial list of links to these programs:

 

American Baptist Women's Ministries

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Justice for Women

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

United Church of Christ Women's Issues

Black and Missing Foundation

Global Ministries Resources

National Council of Churches resources on trafficking, including links to ecumenical sources.

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Freedom Network USA

A Future. Not a Past (national site – advocacy to end childhood prostitution)

Coalition of Immokalee Workers (traveling museum on modern day slavery)



 



Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.


NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),
pjenks@ncccusa.org

 

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