and Solidarity Mark Strategy to Confront Human Trafficking
CHICAGO September 18--– The newly formed Dominican Coordinating
Committee to End Human Trafficking met at Dominican University’s
Priory Campus in River Forest on August 30-31. Nine women from throughout
the U.S. followed up the work of a think tank that had convened earlier
this year. They began to shape a strategic approach for U.S. Dominicans
to address this escalating and troubling issue, one of the areas of
focus of the Dominican Call to Justice. Several congregations have
already studied this issue in depth and have taken action in their
locales; the Committee plans to support and leverage those efforts.
Committee outlined a two-year plan and agreed on specific actions
to be taken before the next meeting in November.
In the area of Advocacy for Legislation, after
considering which states have no current anti-trafficking legislation,
the Committee decided to focus on Kentucky, Wisconsin and New York
and begin to mobilize Dominicans to lobby their elected officials
to take action. Furthermore, Dominicans throughout the U.S. are
encouraged to familiarize themselves with the legislation in their
own states. Justice Promoters should be able to assist with information.
In the area of Education, the Committee plans
to review the status of level of engagement with the issue of trafficking
among U.S. Dominican congregations and provinces to understand clearly
what is being done and what might be needed.
The Committee is also compiling a list of educational tools in
DVD or VHS format and study guides for those who want to either
learn more or be able to make presentations to others.
In the area of Solidarity, the Committee is compiling
a list of organizations that are currently working effectively in
the effort to end human trafficking. Congregations and provinces
may want to consider this list when making charitable contributions.
In the area of Investment and Shareholder Action,
the Committee is researching specific ways to influence businesses
in the hotel and air travel industries.
OPCOMNET, the network of Dominican communicators, will work closely
with the committee to support its efforts.
Reg McKillip, OP, Justice Promoter of the Sinsinawa Dominicans
is the current chair of the Dominican Coordinating Committee to
End Human Trafficking. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Columbus Dominicans Take Corporate Stance
on Human Trafficking
At a recent meeting, the Dominican sisters and associates of Columbus,
OH took a corporate stance against human trafficking:
"We, the Dominican Sisters and Associates of St. Mary
of the Springs, Columbus, Ohio stand in firm opposition to the exploitation
and violation of the human rights of women, men and children that
occur within the growing US and world-wide trafficking market. We
seek to inform and to educate ourselves and others of the inherent
violence involved in the buying, selling and transporting of human
persons. We commit ourselves to work for systemic change in our
own society that will give voice to and liberate those whose poverty
makes them vulnerable to traffickers."
Lives for Sale
A new documentary on immigration and
human trafficking, premieres on PBS this fall.
Lives for Sale, is the first documentary
to address the larger root issues of economic and social injustice—poverty,
globalization, educational barriers and ineffective and contradictory
immigration policies—that support the existence of this
abhorrent abuse of human life.
Watch for local listings.