Track and trip traffickers


To the Editor:
Did you know that the fate of human sex-trafficking victims is reduced to one of these: murder, suicide, or a lifetime of sex slavery? But we could free them if we act with courage, generosity, humility and faith.
Abraham Lincoln said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” So we, as members of religious communities and/or organizations, could pool our resources, network with law enforcement agencies and health care professionals and with other groups who have a goal of eliminating human sex trafficking.
Together we could distribute to the public human sex-trafficking information for the purpose of saving lives. The University of Iowa’s Hospital and Clinics seems to be trying to do just that. Its patient questionnaire asks, “Do you feel unsafe in a relationship?”
Although questionnaires are good tools for initiating communication, information can also be communicated via the media, technological devices and at workshops.
We could start by training public and private personnel in how to observe and report possible human sex-trafficking activity. Some people may be reluctant to help unless they are well informed and their own safety and privacy are protected.
Trainees would learn to identify victims, traffickers, possible slave-bartering locations, victim confinements and how to report signs of possible trafficking to appropriate authorities.
Lent is a good time to commence this effort because, “We are made to the image and likeness of God.” (Genesis 1: 27)
Whether we are moved by Lincoln or by Scripture, we cannot wait to eradicate the evil of human sex trafficking.
Sr. Annamarie Marcalus, OSF

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