The World Day against Trafficking in Persons. #EndHuman Trafficking

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“Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity and an open wound on the body of contemporary society” —- Pope Francis

Today is The World Day against Trafficking in Persons. It is life giving to know that many of our Mary Ward family members are involved in fighting against this modern slavery. We are reminded by the CJ GC 2011 calls: “we call for a strengthening of our commitment to justice as an integral part of being disciples of Jesus and of sharing Mary Ward’s Just Soul vision. Being poor with Jesus commits us both to fighting poverty and injustice and to sharing his poverty alongside the poor. Women and children are always poverty’s primary victims and our historical commitment to their care urges us to seek new ways to respond to modern forms of oppression, such as human trafficking. We encourage all sisters to engage structurally at local, international and NGO level for networking, sharing resources and concrete actions.”

     As I write this, the face of a young girl whom I met in Beur Central Jail in Patna comes alive to me. The parents who were very poor got her married at a very young age not knowing that the boy would sell her to a trafficker. She managed to escape from the trafficker and returned to her home. She was heartbroken when her parents did not accept her and chased her away from the house. She did not know what to do or where to go and was roaming at the railway station when the police arrested her for a crime which she never committed. There are many such cases of victims around us who are subjected to punishment, stigmatization and do not receive adequate support. Every day, in every country in the world, human traffickers exploit people for profit. The poor and the vulnerable are most at risk. How do I respond to this modern slavery? Together let us continue to speak and act for all the people in every corner of the world who suffer as a result of Human Trafficking.

Did you know?

  • In 2018 about 50,000 human trafficking victims were detected and reported by 148 countries. 
  • 50 per cent of detected victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 38 per cent were exploited for forced labour.
  • Female victims continue to be the primary targets. Women make up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking.
  • Globally, one in every three victims detected is a child. 
  • The share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled, while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years.

Source: UNODC Human Trafficking FAQs

Read more in this publication of the United nations office on drugs and crime.

Cynthia Mathew

Carla Bellone