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.
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
She cited programs of several NCC member communions to confront trafficking.
Here is a partial list of links to these programs:
Baptist Women's Ministries
Justice for Women
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
Black and Missing Foundation
Global Ministries Resources
National Council of Churches resources on trafficking, including links to
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report
Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons
A Future. Not a Past
(national site – advocacy to end childhood prostitution)
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),