Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry has issued the following statement on Human Trafficking.
As we observe National Human Trafficking Awareness Month 2018, it is important that we recognize trafficking in persons is a crime that goes against the most basic tenets of our faith. It is also, unfortunately, all too common and puts millions in danger every day.
Human trafficking manifests itself in a variety of ways and in a variety of industries from personal servitude to agriculture to hotels and hospitality or to commercial sex work. But what we know for sure is that in order for this crime to occur, perpetrators must devalue and dehumanize another person.
We must be clear that all human beings are made in God’s image and each deserves a life free from violence or threat of violence, exploitation, and coercion. We must also condemn structures and systems that make it all too easy for such evil to occur.
I commend the work of dioceses, congregations, and individuals across our Church and the Anglican Communion who are partnering to build awareness, support survivors, and protect against human trafficking. I urge all who follow Jesus to commit to further developing loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with God and one another.
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry
The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Public Policy Network says, "January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We invite you to take action in support of prevention and protection measures and to raise awareness about this issue. Human trafficking takes place in communities around the world with use of "violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will." The International Labor Organization estimates that more than 20 million people are subject to human trafficking."
Since 2000, Congress has reauthorized the Trafficking Victims Protection Act every two to four years to ensure the U.S. is implementing the best tools and strategies to combat human trafficking, but it has not yet been reauthorized in the current Congress.
This bipartisan bill authorizes the U.S. government to prevent and respond to human trafficking on a large scale. Among other things, the reauthorization would ensure that the Department of Justice can effectively prosecute trafficking crimes and it also continues supporting the Department of State's annualTrafficking in Persons (TIP) report which measures how countries across the globe are addressing human trafficking and urges them to do better. Congress must reauthorize this comprehensive piece of legislation this year.
Beyond legislative advocacy, there are a variety of ways that you as an individual can take action to prevent and address human trafficking at home and abroad. We encourage you to learn about thedifferent types and indicators of human trafficking, save the human trafficking awareness hotline numberin your phone, host an educational forum in your church, and investigate supply chains of products you use.
The Office of Government Relations encourages Episcopalians to take action to fight human trafficking through the Episcopal Public Policy Network here. The Action Alert on human trafficking encourages Congress to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Write Congress here.
Additional information on advocacy and other ways to combat human trafficking is here.
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