Growing awareness of the scope and incidence of human trafficking locally, nationally, and globally prompted IJPC to name Human Trafficking as a new focus area in 2015.
IJPC opposes all forms of trafficking human beings for the purpose of using them for commercial sex, hard labor, domestic service, hospitality service, factory work, peddling and begging networks, military service, and black market organ sales. Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person through the use of force, fraud, or coercion to provide labor, services, sexual acts, or for their body parts.
We believe that human trafficking is a violation of a person’s human rights and an affront to the inherent dignity of every human being. Though outlawed long ago and considered something of the past, human trafficking is nothing less than modern-day slavery. Traffickers prey on the most vulnerable members of society, exploiting their circumstances and desire for a better life by tricking them with promises of safety, shelter, employment, or education.
The IJPC Committee on Human Trafficking recognizes that all people have inherent dignity and rights, therefore it works to educate themselves and others about the identification and prevention of human trafficking and advocates for victims.
In 2014, the committee developed a curriculum appropriate for high school juniors and seniors that has been distributed to most Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. This curriculum can be adapted for use with a variety of audiences. Committee members have given informational trainings to parish groups, schools, and other interested parties upon request. IJPC cooperates and collaborates with organizations like End Slavery Cincinnati that work to reduce various forms of trafficking through advocacy and work directly with victims of trafficking.
Ohio SB4: Expand Expungement and Intervention (updated 7/19/2017)
- In January, Senator Kunze (R-OH) and Senator Oelslager (R-OH) introduced OH SB4. This bill will expand the list of crimes that can be expunged from the records of survivors of human trafficking.
- The main intent of the bill is to help survivors of human trafficking separate their current life from their past. Many victims of human trafficking are forced to commit crimes, which they would not do otherwise. Ohio Senate Bill 4 acknowledges the force, fraud, and coercion that is involved in human trafficking.
- Take Action: This bill passed through the Senate with a unanimous vote and made it to the House Criminal Justice Committee. The House Criminal Justice Committee will be voting on the Senate Bill soon. Call Representative Seitz, who sits on the committee, and urge him to vote YES on the bill.
- Representative Seitz: 614-466-8258, email@example.com
S.104/H.R.459: Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2017 (updated 7/19/2017)
- In January, Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced S.104 and Representative Wagner (R-MO) introduced H.R.459, bill that will vacate certain convictions and expunge certain crimes from the criminal records of survivors of human trafficking.
- Take Action: S.104 is in the Judiciary Committee and has 14 co-sponsors, including Senator Portman and Senator Brown.
- H.R.459 has 31 co-sponsors and is in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
S.1311/H.R.2803: Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017 (updated 6/27/2017)
- In June, Senator Brown (D-OH) introduced S.1311 and Representative Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R.2803, a bill that would provide the United States with a much needed push to end the exploitation of people through human trafficking.
- This bill reauthorizes the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 works to increase the punishment for people convicted of operating trafficking enterprises within the U.S., and provides support to victims of human trafficking.
- A major component of the Abolish Human Trafficking Act is the addition of more law enforcement officials to identify and stop human trafficking. This will be implemented by creating a coordinator position in each federal judicial district. The coordinator will prosecute human trafficking cases, while also advocating for survivors. Federal law enforcement officers will be given holistic training in order to better work with the survivors. The specialized law enforcement and victims’ services will combine to create a more just society for those who have been greatly damaged.
- Additional funding for victims’ services will give law enforcement needed resources to target those who are involved in organizing human trafficking. The addition of specialized law enforcement officers will hopefully result in stricter laws around human trafficking – preventing it from growing any more.
- A victim-centered approach to human trafficking will be implemented, ensuring each person receives specialized care in a timely fashion. An interdisciplinary approach is required to best serve the survivors of human trafficking by empowering instead of retraumatizing them.
- Take Action: S.1311 has 25 co-sponsors and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.
- H.R.2803 has 3 co-sponsors and was recently referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
H.R.2200: Fredrick Douglas Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (updated 7/19/2017)
- In April, Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ) introduced H.R.2200, a bill that will encourage education about human trafficking, as well as additional support for survivors.
- This bill reauthorizes the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.
- H.R. 2200 ensures education focused on the prevention of human trafficking, as well as creating grants to financially support rehabilitation programs for survivors of human trafficking. The education expansion surrounding human trafficking will target elementary and secondary education schools and focus on informing children on the signs and dangers of severe forms of trafficking.
- This bill will create an employment program for people who have been removed from trafficking situations. The goal is that through employment, people will receive necessary assistance to integrate into society in a self-sufficient manner.
- Take Action:
- Passed the House on 7/12/17
- Currently in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
- If you or someone you know needs help, call the confidential National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1.888.373.7888 to speak with a specially trained NHTRC Call Specialist. Support is provided in more than 200 languages. To report a potential human trafficking situation, you can also call the hotline. If you are in the Greater Cincinnati area, you can call the Greater Cincinnati Human Trafficking Hotline at 513.800.1863 which is also 24 hours a day, confidential and has options for tele-interpreters.
- End Slavery Cincinnati compiled a list of films (free and need to pay for) that explain various facets of Human Trafficking curriculum. We highlighted a few in a blog post but the full list is available here.