Opportunities For Action

Catholic Relief Services’ Turn on the Light Campaign

Launched earlier in 2017 under the umbrella of Catholics Confront Global Poverty, Catholic Relief Service’s Turn on the Light campaign calls on Catholics and people of goodwill across the U.S. to spend their consumer dollars on ethically produced and traded products while pressing government leaders to strengthen and enforce anti-trafficking laws. 

CRS has fought human trafficking and helped its victims with more than 145 projects worldwide since 2000. Their work connects directly to the lived realities of those served and acts as the foundation for developing and supporting policies and procedures to fight trafficking.

Poverty, civil unrest, violence, lack of education lust for power, greed are all contributing factors in making individuals vulnerable to trafficking.  The causes of human trafficking are complex and interlinked, so strategies to combat it must address both supply and demand.   Worldwide, human trafficking is a $150 billion enterprise; and it is illegal in every country in the world.

Throughout the world, especially in poor countries, adults and children are lured away from their homes and families with false promises of legitimate work or education.  They end up in mines, fields, factories, farms, construction sites, homes, hotels, brothels, restaurants and workrooms, with low or no pay and terrible working and living conditions.  Nearly all are victims of violence while enslaved. 

Many of the goods produced or grown are sold in the U.S.  CRS wants to raise awareness of human trafficking in labor and asks people to use their voices and their purchasing power to combat it.

Catholic Relief Services’ Turn on the Light campaign urges people to contact their Senators and Representatives to advocate for key anti-trafficking legislation and to purchase a ‘Turn on the Light’ soy candle made by women who have recently resettled in the U.S. from refugee camps. Proceeds will support CRS’ work combating human trafficking and promoting ethical trade practices.

To learn more, visit Catholics Confront Global Poverty and watch the ‘Turn on the Light’ campaign video on CRS’ YouTube channel.

 For additional information about the campaign from CRSClick Here

Labeling for Lent

An Effort to Prevent Human Trafficking By the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT)

Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that enslaves women, men, and children into situations of forced labor, debt bondage, and sexual servitude. Human trafficking is wide spread in many products’ supply chains, including products sold in the United States. For example, the United States imports 80-90% of its seafood, and tens of thousands of people are exploited at every link in the seafood harvesting and production chain. This exploitation occurs through abusive recruitment practices, as well as slavery at sea and in seafood processing plants.

To learn more about the project and to find out how you can help: Click Here

Support the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act

We invite you to join with our friends at the Polaris Project for this important action.

Imagine a girl named Nita, who was 14 years old when she first met the man who forced her to sell sex.* She had just run away from her foster family to avoid sexual harassment from one of her foster relatives. So when she met a man who offered to take her back to her biological family in Florida, she accepted.

But when they arrived to Florida, he wouldn’t let her leave the hotel room he rented; instead, he forced her to earn money for him by engaging in commercial sex. After a few months, she was arrested for solicitation and selling drugs. After serving time in a juvenile detention center, she was sent back to her foster family, where she was sexually harassed again.

For the second time, she ran away from home. With no other safe options available to her, she called her trafficker, who took her back to Florida and forced her to resume selling sex and drugs. Again, she was arrested.

Nita, and others like her, are victims – not criminals. Although Christina was able to get help and now has an order of protection against her trafficker, the crimes he forced her to commit still remain on her criminal record. As she works to rebuild her life, these convictions will likely make it harder for her to access housing, school loans and employment.

A new bill introduced in Congress would allow courts to erase survivors’ nonviolent federal criminal convictions resulting from being trafficked. Please join us in calling on the Senate and House of Representatives to pass this critical legislation.

Take Action: Support the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act: Click Here

Congress: Mandate human trafficking training for medical professionals

We invite you to join with our friends at the Polaris Project for this important action.

Last October, a doctor was examining a female patient in the emergency room, when suddenly she slipped him a note: “I have a tracker in me.”

At first, the doctor was skeptical. But the x-ray showed it clearly: a tiny metallic identifier often used for pets, implanted in her by someone who wanted to demonstrate his ownership over her. The woman was a victim of human trafficking, and her pimp had placed an ID chip in her to force her to continue selling herself for sex.

Had she not gone to the emergency room that night, she may not have been able to escape her trafficking situation. And had the doctor not run the x-ray, he might have not recognized her as a trafficking victim.

Healthcare professionals are uniquely positioned to be able to interact with trafficking victims. But in one study, 95% of ER doctors and nurses surveyed had never received formal training on human trafficking. The House of Representatives recently introduced a bill ensuring that healthcare professionals get comprehensive training to help trafficking victims. The same bill was introduced in the Senate last year. Please call on Congress to pass this important legislation.

Take action: Support the SOAR to Health and Wellness Act: Click Here

Tell Your State Attorney General To Stop Human Traffickers And Help Survivors Find Support

We invite you to join with our friends at the Polaris Project for this important action.

Tell your Attorney General to share the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number in your state. By taking this simple step, states can can stop traffickers from harming more people and help survivors find the services they need.

Take Action: Click Here

END FORCED LABOUR IN QATAR

We invite you to  join with our friends at Walk Free in this important action.

This video is part of ITUC’s project on migrant workers in Qatar. Find more at wwww.qatarexposed.org

Share this video on Facebook or Twitter after taking action

Bide Majakoti knows the horror of forced labour in Qatar first-hand. He travelled from Nepal on the promise of a well-paid job and paid high recruitment fees to secure it. When he arrived he was forced to accept a different job and his nightmare began.1

Unfortunately, as construction for the football World Cup 2022 intensifies, more migrant workers will be vulnerable to forced labour than ever before.

Over 90% of Qatar’s workforce are migrant workers, brought to the country under kafala, the ‘sponsorship’ system.2 It is a foreign worker sponsorship programme that jeopardises basic human rights of migrant workers, allowing slavery-like conditions to flourish leaving thousands vulnerable to forced labour and other human rights abuses.

Bide was forced to work in the blistering heat without safety precautions or pay. With no other option open to him, he returned home saddled with debt. While Bide ultimately returned home to tell his story, thousands of others never get that chance.

Many others’ experiences are even worse; workers often have their wages withheld, are denied exit visas, are housed in dirty, unsafe conditions and forced to work long hours with little rest despite the high heat.3

Right now we have an opportunity to help. The Minister of Labour made promises to make substantial reform to the kafala system, ensuring the protection of migrant workers.4 Now, the deadline for these reforms has passed.

We’ve seen significant improvements to the kafala system in Bahrain, Kuwait and other neighbouring countries. Now it’s time for Qatar to safeguard its migrant workers.

Call on the Minister of Labour to deliver on critical reforms he promised and end the forced labour in Qatar.

To sign the petition on Walk Free’s website: Click Here