LCUSA Human Trafficking Resolution

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RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF THE LADIES OF CHARITY UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO JOIN THE COALITION OF CATHOLIC ORGANIZATIONS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Ladies of Charity of the United States of America, on the 14th of April 2011, the following resolution was passed by the Board.

WHEREAS, the mission of the Ladies of Charity USA is to provide Vincentian leadership for  women acting together against poverty;

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors of the Ladies of Charity of the United States of America in 2010 established  a priority for advocacy education and action on violence against women in an attempt to alleviate the dire consequences of gender violence for women, children, families and communities;

WHEREAS, the Ladies of Charity seek to join our organizational voice to our Vincentian and Church collaborators who have issued statements calling for collaborative and concerted action to address human trafficking+ and its many forms of enslavement;

WHEREAS, in 2011 the numbers of persons who are victims of human trafficking has reached an estimated high globally of 1.8 per 1,000 inhabitants,* 56 % of whom are women and girls** and  as many as 17,500 human beings each year are trafficked into the USA; ***

WHEREAS, the United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 will be reauthorized in 2011.  It is an opportunity to strengthen efforts to combat trafficking in human persons by adding increased funding to support programming for victims, insuring compliance of countries on the international level,  requiring experts who can respond immediately to disasters, like the Haiti earthquake that put children and women at high risk of exploitation,  supporting efforts to track minors who may be at risk for either labor or sex trafficking,  strengthening  regulation of foreign labor recruiters to prevent human trafficking and ensuring legal services for human trafficking victims in the US.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

That LADIES OF CHARITY USA seek to join with the organizations who support the COALITION OF CATHOLIC ORGANIZATIONS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

The Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking consists of national and international Catholic agencies working to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking. The main purposes of the Coalition are to:

  • Formulate plans for combating trafficking and serving its victims
  • Promote development of services for trafficking victims and approaches to empowerment of trafficking victims
  • Dialogue with government officials and others engaged in public policies affecting this issue
  • Devise strategies for public education, awareness-raising and grass roots action.

The Ladies of Charity USA is a national network of about 9,000 members in Associations based in Catholic Parishes, Dioceses and Institutions in the US.  We can work together to combat trafficking by:

  • Providing education, awareness-raising and grass roots action for laws to prevent human trafficking and laws that punish persons who perpetrate human trafficking on the International, National and State level;
  • Through collaboration with other agencies delivering direct services to adult and child trafficking victims in the U.S. and supporting international efforts through ventures with our sisters in the AIC;
  • Hosting educational, training and technical assistance programs on the issue of trafficking;
  • Meeting with government officials, including Senators and Representatives in the U.S. Congress to promote the legislative priorities of the Coalition of Catholic Organizations against Human Trafficking; and

Working on the State level to support safe harbor for minors, services for victims of sex or labor trafficking and just criminal penalties for traffickers.

Signed:

Lucy Ann Saunders

Lucy Saunders,
President, Ladies of Charity USA

+ Human Trafficking is an umbrella term that is used for activities involved when one person obtains or holds another person in compelled service. Major forms of human trafficking include:  forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor or “peonage”, debt bonding of migrant laborers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers and child sex trafficking.  http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142747.htm

* US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 (Trafficking by the Numbers)  http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142750.htm#1

The International Labour Organization (ILO) global estimate of the number of victims of forced labour is 12.3 million. The ILO’s definition of forced labour comprises two basic elements: the work or service is exacted under the menace of a penalty and it is undertaken involuntarily.  Of the 12.3 million estimated persons  in some form of forced labor world wide, 9.8 million are exploited by private agents, including more than 2.4 million in forced labour as a result of human trafficking. Another 2.5 million are forced to work by the State or by rebel military groups. “A Global Alliance Against Forced Labour”  International Labour Office, Geneva, 2005.  ISBN 92-2-115360-6.

** “The Feminization of Modern Slavery,”  US Department of State http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/fs/2010/144405.htm (6/14/10)

*** “On Human Trafficking” Committee on Migration, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Publication NO. M5-682. Washington , D.C. (2007)