Works of Love series tackles human trafficking
If you have not been following along with the Works of Love series from the Jesuits East Province, we encourage you to subscribe to this important weekly series featuring topics in line with the Apostolic Preferences that require our attention - in prayer, reflection, and action. In Chapter 8 this week, the team focuses on Human Trafficking, a difficult and real global crisis. Here is an excerpt from this week's teaching:
The United Nations estimates that 24.9 million people worldwide are currently being trafficked in some form. As the U.S. State Department points out, that's more than three times the population of New York City. And women and girls make up more than 70 percent of victims.
Human trafficking happens on every continent, a fact that can be difficult for those of us in North America to accept. We may not even realize that it is happening in our communities, and that we are connected to human trafficking through the things we do and the products we consume.
The first step in our response must be the conversion of our own hearts. We need to critique our attitudes and behaviors — how we treat people, how we spend our money, what we are amused by. As we seek deeper conversion ourselves, we are better able to see the ways we might be participating in human trafficking, as well as the ways we can help prevent it. Armed with this knowledge, we can take action.
To delve deeper into this issue, the Jesuits East team spoke with Sr. Sheila Smith, RSCJ, an expert on human trafficking prevention who represents the Society of the Sacred Heart at the United Nations.
They asked Sr. Sheila about the ways her spirituality informs her work, what a response to human trafficking might look like from the perspective of Catholic social teaching, and what concrete actions we can take to prevent human trafficking.