Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Perpetrators use force, fraud or coercion to lure victims into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. This violates their human dignity and denies their God-given freedom. Pope Francis and other faith leaders have set a goal of eradicating modern slavery by 2020. Their moral leadership has greatly expanded efforts to end human trafficking.
In 2007 the Sisters of St. Agnes adopted a corporate stance against sex trafficking. As a member of UNANIMA International, the Congregation assisted with its campaign called Stop the Demand, and has continued to raise awareness of the trafficking of women and children.
In response to resolutions by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), sisters have been in the forefront of efforts to end human trafficking. In 2016, with the full support of Wisconsin’s Catholic Bishops, WI’s LCWR prepared a toolkit for parishes in WI to promote awareness of human trafficking. Contents of the toolkit are available on the anti-human trafficking Webpage of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross. In WI LCWR also sponsored ads on buses and billboards to create awareness of the hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
Human trafficking is rampant in the hospitality sector of the economy. For this reason, the Sisters of St. Agnes recommend asking hotel and motel managers if they have adopted The Code which is designed to protect children from human trafficking. You can find a sample letter on this Website.
For more information about human trafficking view the following handouts:
- 2016 Human Trafficking Overview
- 2016 Youth Sexual Exploitation
- 2016 Prostitution and Trafficking
- 2016 Forced Marriage and Organ Trafficking
- 2016 Shopping and Fair Trade
- 2016 Actions for Human Trafficking Prevention
- 2016 Prayer Calendar
CSA recommends other organizations that provide helpful information and actions to end modern slavery.
Stop Trafficking Newsletter (new issue monthly)
Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking (NEW WEBSITE of the WI Anti-human Trafficking Consortium)
What Our Faith Tells Us About Human Trafficking 2017 (Powerpoint)
In 2007 the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes adopted a corporate stance against human trafficking. As a member or an Associate of the Congregation, I am writing to you today to share my concerns about this horrible criminal activity and its impact on victims. Your business is part of the hospitality sector where staff are very likely to come in contact with the victims of sex trafficking and are therefore able to assist our government in addressing this crime and rescuing victims, especially children.
It is sad but true that in our country people are being bought, sold and smuggled like modern day slaves. Human trafficking, a form of modern slavery, involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to exploit human beings for the purposes of labor or commercial sex. Children at increasingly younger ages are among some of the most vulnerable victims.
Many major corporations in the hospitality sector of the economy are working to create an ethical policy against commercial sexual exploitation of children (see ECPAT). They are training their staff to help identify potential victims of trafficking, are partnering with law and justice departments of our government in the enforcement of the Traffic Victims Protection Act, and are becoming advocates for social services that meet the needs of victims. As of June 2014, over 1200 businesses in 52 countries have signed a Code of Conduct (called The Code). If your company has not yet done so, I urge you to promote and protect human rights by recommending that your company adopt The Code. If your organization has already signed The Code and implemented its six action steps I applaud your ethical practices and will most certainly recommend your business to family and friends.
Please share my correspondence with the Chief Executive Officer of your corporation so that senior management can learn of my commitment to ending human trafficking and can respond to my concerns. By taking action to eradicate human trafficking, especially the sexual exploitation of children, your company will uphold human rights and serve as an ethical member of the business community.
To Whom It May Concern:
The trafficking in persons, especially women and children for sexual exploitation, is of great concern to me. It is a phenomenon that affects every country and includes cities like this.
As a guest at your hotel, I wanted to share information and learn what you and your parent company are doing to protect human rights and educate your staff.
According to the United Nations, an estimated 2.5 million people are victims of human trafficking, including forced labor and sexual exploitation. Some of the most vulnerable who fall prey to trafficking are children, through prostitution and sex tourism.
Many major hotels now have or are working to create an ethical policy against commercial sexual exploitation of children, to train hotel staff to help identify human trafficking, and to partner with government and social service agencies. Reporting on your website the actions your company is taking would help keep guests like me informed of your commitment, is evidence of proactive and attentive management, and is an important aspect of corporate social responsibility.
Developing a corporate policy, training staff, and reporting publicly are components of an industry-wide Code of Conduct called The Code (www.thecode.org), a practical tool facilitating the protection of children’s rights by the travel and tourism sector. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative in collaboration with ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking – www.ecpat.net) with over 800 members in 32 countries and is recognized among tourism industry associations, governments, and child rights and protection organizations, such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Signatories include Carlson Companies, Accor, and the American Society of Travel Agents.
Please give this letter to the Hotel Manager and to the company CEO so that senior management can learn of my interest in this issue and can respond. I have provided my name and address below. As the marketplace increasingly demonstrates, companies must be aware of and sensitive to social and ethical issues. As a customer, the moral and ethical standards a hotel embraces as evidenced by its policies and practices are very important to me.
By taking action to eradicate human trafficking, including the sexual exploitation of children, your hotel can signal your commitment to human rights. At the same time, I can feel comfortable that I am giving my business to a responsible member of our local and global community.
Sincerely, Name: ____________________________________ Email: _________________________________
Address: ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
For more information contact:
Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
320 County Road K
Fond du Lac, WI 54937-8158
Phone: (920) 907-2315
Fax: (920) 921-8177