Human trafficking involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through use of force, fraud, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them. People may be considered trafficking victims regardless of whether they were born into a state of servitude, were transported to the exploitative situation, previously consented to work for a trafficker, or participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked. Trafficking in persons affects virtually every country of the world today, including the United States. The majority of victims are women and children who are trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. It is one of the fastest growing criminal activities after drugs and arms. It is estimated that between 700,000 to two million persons are trafficked each year worldwide. Trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry, the second largest crime in terms of dollars exchanged.
The United States is one of the countries of destination of women and children trafficked for sexual purposes from all over the world. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that 50,000 to 100,000 women are trafficked to the United States each year. In the past decade as many as 750,000 women have been trafficked into the United States. According to UNICEF estimates, there are between 90,000 and 300,000 prostituted minors in the country.
Major sporting events, such as this weekend’s Super Bowl, are magnets for activities connected with human trafficking. These events draw large crowds, are primarily male-attended, and have a partying atmosphere connected with them. The party atmosphere surrounding the game may be an enticement for some to break the law, and that attitude is what traffickers hope to capitalize on.
The Daughters of Charity are collaborating with other groups of Catholic religious women and with other sectors of society to stop what Pope Francis has called “the most extensive form of slavery of the 21st century.” Learn more about trafficking and efforts to combat it with the resources below. They were used in the writing of this post.
Sisters Around the World Fight Trafficking