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Mission San Jose Dominicans Speak Out Against Human Trafffcking

MISSION SAN JOSE, CA July 10, 2006 -- The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, with members in the United States, Germany, and Mexico, have officially issued a stance against human trafficking. The Sisters have united with over 800 women's religious orders representing one million members throughout the world who have pledged to work for the eradication of the growing epidemic of international trafficking of women, children, and men.

Through a process of study, reflection and discussion, the Sisters adopted their stance with the knowledge that 800,000 to a million women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. According to the U.S. State Department, as many as 15-20,000 women are trafficked annually into the United States. During this last month news sources reported that thousands of women and girls had been taken to Germany and trafficked to provide commercial sex services for FIFA World Cup soccer fans.

In California, members of the MSJ Dominican congregation joined with other religious orders to support legislation by Assembly member Sally Lieber (AB 22), The California Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and Senator Sheila Kuehl, (SB 180) establishing the California Alliance to Combat Trafficking and Slavery Task Force. These bills were signed into legislation by Governor Schwarzenegger. The legislators acknowledged the contribution to the effort made by women religious.

The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose plan to continue to advocate for policies and programs that address trafficking, both its causes and possible solutions, through governmental and non-governmental agencies. The MSJ Dominicans and other women religious oppose the CAFTA Agreement, seeing its negative effects on the poor people of Central American countries.

For more information, contact Stella Goodpasture, OP, 510-261-2349.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. The third largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, trafficking is one of the most urgent human rights issues today.


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