Life and Dignity of the Human Person-Human Trafficking

 

A foundational principle of Catholic Social Teaching is the life and dignity of the human person.  This principle holds that the life of every person is precious and must be protected.  As the US Catholic Bishops have said so well:  “the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.”  USCCB: 1999, Washington, DC.

January has been proclaimed as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by the President of the United States calling upon all US citizens and especially all businesses, national and community organizations, faith-based group and families to do all we can to stop slavery and human trafficking not only within our borders but also internationally. 

An estimated 21 million people, and many of them are young boys and girls, are trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor throughout the world.  This is brought home to us at large sporting events in our own United States.  One such event is the Super Bowl which will take place February 2.  Through the cooperation of Federal, State, and Local law enforcement authorities greater efforts are being made to curb the trafficking and prostitution which goes on before and during such large sporting events as Super Bowl XLVIII. 

One effort which is having a great impact is the education of hotel staff. Many of the major hotel chains, through the intervention of various advocacy groups, are training their hotel workers to recognize the signs of human trafficking. 

 

SOME POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING:

  • The individual is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
  • The individual works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • There is high security measures existing in the work and/or living locations
  • The individual is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense or nervous
  • The individual avoids eye contact
  • The individual exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
  • The individual appears malnourished
  • The individual shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • The individual has few personal possessions
  • The individual is not in control of his/her own money
  • The individual is not in control of his/her own identification documents
  • The individual has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story

 

RESOURCES-and to read more about human trafficking…

 Hotline:  1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733).

www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking   -The Polaris Project

www.ipjc.org                Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center

www.ecpat.net    End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for 

                             Sexual Purpose

 

Ann Kasparek