Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2013
January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States – a day to bring awareness to the world-wide crisis also known as modern day slavery. The 27th General Synod (2009) approved the resolution of witness, “A Call to Awareness and Action to End the Practice of Trafficking in Persons.” In the call to action, congregations of the UCC are encourage to observe the Sunday closest to January 11 (Human Trafficking Awareness Day) as a day of prayer, education and action. We invite you to highlight concern for our sisters and brothers who are victims of human trafficking on a Sunday in January close to the 11th.
As people of faith, we are called to work to end this moral scourge by calling on our political leaders to strengthen U.S. efforts to eradicating trafficking in persons. There is much that Congress can do, beginning with reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). Sadly, over the past year, Congress lacked the political will to reauthorize this vital piece of legislation. With the swearing in of a new congress we have a fresh opportunity to introduce and advocate for this vital legislation.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) is an essential and comprehensive federal law addressing human trafficking and modern-day slavery. It includes provisions that address both the domestic and international dimensions of trafficking, such as funding services for survivors, strengthening law enforcement, and preventing U.S. aid to countries that use child soldiers. Reauthorization of the TVPA ensures that the U.S. remains a global leader in addressing the many facets of trafficking here and abroad.
Act now: Ask Congress to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
A Litany of Commitment (Download)
One: Creator and Creating God, we bear your likeness in our souls and in our bodies, having been created in your image.
All: What a wondrous world with wondrous peoples!
One: We enjoy being together - to celebrate, to compete in good spirit, and to cheer on our favorite teams.
All: What fun it can be to watch teams put their best efforts out on the field of play.
One: But, dear God, keep us vigilant as well to things that happen away from the main event.
All: We pray for our sisters and brothers who are trapped by those who would use them for commercial gain.
One: We pray that we will have the courage to transform a culture that tolerates degrading and abusive behavior.
All: We pray for justice for all of God’s children, each one of whom bears divine likeness in soul and body. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
By Rev. Loey Powell
|What UCC Churches are Doing Around Human Trafficking
In this section, we will highlight some of the activities our local churches are doing to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking. Please send information from your church to Loey Powell if you are doing advocacy and awareness on trafficking.
Friedens UCC in Indianapolis, IN, helped start a local group called U-ACT which assists churches and organization in the area in efforts to end human trafficking. Learn more about U-ACT.
Country Club UCC in Kansas City, MO, is doing ongoing work to raise awareness about human trafficking. It hosted a community conference in 2010 and is doing follow up work.
- Polaris Project State-by-State information on anti-trafficking legislation
- U.S. State Department “Trafficking in Persons Report”
- You can report trafficking crimes and get help by calling the Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force at 1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY). New laws provide options for trafficking victims regardless of immigration status.