On 30 July 2018, the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the United Nations aims to create awareness about human trafficking and worldwide efforts to defeat it.
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
The UN resolution also states that trafficking in persons, especially women and children, constitutes an offence and a serious threat to human dignity and physical integrity, human rights, and development. Despite sustained measures taken at the international, regional, and national levels, trafficking in persons remains one of the grave challenges facing the international community.
According to the 2016 UN report, women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriages and sexual slavery, while men and boys are typically exploited for forced labour in the mining sector, as porters, and as soldiers. It also states that refugees from war and persecution are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking.
In many countries in Asia Pacific, Good Shepherd communities and organisations use this day as an opportunity to create awareness of this issue and mobilize action to defeat it.
As well as offering practical support and advocacy services to girls and women affected by Trafficking, Good Shepherd Services Taiwan conducts Workshops in schools, educating teenagers on the facts about human trafficking, labour exploitation and sexual exploitation. Good Shepherd Services is in the process of setting up a website which will provide key information on Trafficking in Persons. The goal is to raise the awareness of teachers, family and the public to this important issue.
Click here for full report and photos - Call for the elimination of Human Trafficking, in Taiwan
In the historical Good Shepherd Strategic Plan 2015-2019 of the Province of Central East India/Nepal (CEIN), one of the four themes identified for community intervention was ‘Human Trafficking & Safe Migration’.
In view of the ‘World Day against Trafficking in Persons’, a public meeting was organised to sensitise the people on the issue of human trafficking. The programme was attended by adolescent girls from the villages and Amaravathi based Pallotti Junior College, women from the village-level SHGs initiated by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd who are members of Economic Justice Program and men from different walks of life who participated and benefitted. The sensitisation programme was convened in the campus of Good Shepherd Convent, Amaravathi.
Click here for full report and photos - 2018 World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Amaravathi CE India
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” said Mr. Martin Luther King Jr., an American Baptist Minister and Activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement. Keeping silence on a crime is a crime in itself.
As we reflect on this issue of human trafficking, we are also reminded of the great concern expressed in the mission of St. Mary Euphrasia towards the slaves. There are millions of victims of slavery around the world still crying like St. Bakhita who said in her deathbed recalling the days of slavery, "the chains are too tight, loosen them a little, please!"
Are not these words lingering into our ears and disturbing us and calling us to get into action when we listen to people suffering from human trafficking around the world, the modern slavery?
Are we prepared to respond to the call for freeing such slaves from the chains of trafficking and ensure a dignified human living?
It is time that we get into some concrete actions that would help to prevent human trafficking and promote the rights of the trafficked and ensure a life free from slavery. As people committed mostly to working at the grass-root-level, importance must be given to proactive community-driven measures which would strengthen the ability of the local people to protect the most vulnerable and weakest people from becoming victims of slavery and trafficking. Hence, there is a need to equip the front-line workers who can do a lot in sensitizing the people through their continuing education programme. There is also a need to closely work with the migrants and the potential migrants and protect them from all possible perils of slavery.
Reflection by Mr. John Aruldass, M&E Coordinator of Project Management Unit, MDO - CEI