National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Day

In its recent press release the National Council on Churches reminds us that January 11th, 2013, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States. 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.

“The U. S. Government recently reported that eight hundred thousand (800,000) people are trafficked across international borders each year; eighty (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 twelve point three (12.3) million people in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, and sexual servitude at any given time; other estimates range from four (4) million to twenty-seven (27) million. (United States Department of State, “Trafficking in Person Report”, June 2007. The U.S. State Department estimates traffickers make thirty-two (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.

Source(s): National Council of Churches

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

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