January 5, 2010

January 11, 2010 National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Human trafficking is “modern day slavery” because it uses force, fraud or coercion to make people do things they don’t want to do. Men, women and children are all affected by this crime; they are enslaved throughout the world and many times right here in our own communities for labor or commercial sex. If you are aware of a situation in which someone is being coerced against their will to work for the benefit of others, please call the Underground Railroad in Saginaw County at (989) 755-0411 or toll free at 1-888-399-8285.

Additional resources include the U.S. Department of Justice Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-428-7581 or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s 24/7 Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

- From The Underground Railroad, Inc.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry after drug trafficking and the fastest growing crime worldwide. It is also tied to illegal arms dealing and is one of our greatest civil and human rights struggles today.

In an effort to combat this appalling surge in crime and human rights violations, we would also like to encouraging people to support human trafficking awareness and to actively participate in Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Within the Saginaw community, the Underground Railroad Inc. has been working closely with law enforcement, distributing The Crime of Human Trafficking: A Law Enforcement Guide to Identification and Investigation educational DVDs and pamphlets to Saginaw County Police Departments.

We can help with awareness in our communities, parishes and places of work as well. To learn more about this issue, you can find a lot of information and statistics on the United Nations website, watch for it in the news, or search "human trafficking awareness" online. YouTube has some excellent videos to raise awareness that are good for personal viewing or classroom use.

Please consider doing something on January 11 to raise awareness around you. Here are a five easy ways:
  1. Make Human Trafficking Awareness Day your Facebook status on January 11.
  2. Post an article or weblink on Facebook.
  3. Tweet to your friends and let them know: January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day!
  4. Wear a black band on your arm to remember past and present trafficking victims.
  5. Have your parish pray for human trafficking victims in the petitions or bulletin this weekend (follow the links below to download materials from our diocesan website).

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