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.
SOAR Act Aims to Educate and Advocate (updated on 2/23/2017)
Stop, Oberserve, Act and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness was introduced on January 31st , 2017 as a companion bill in the Senate (S.256) and House of Representatives (H.R.767). In the Senate, this bill was introduced by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (N-ND) and Susan Collins(R-ME). In the House, this was introduced by congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) with collaboration and support from members of congress Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Ann Wagner (R-MO). These bills comprise of a bipartisan legislation that will provide healthcare professionals with the skills to detect victims of human trafficking, administer proper treatments, and alleviate the amount of victims released without proper care.
68% of victims end up in a healthcare setting at some point while they are exploited. This care is not just administered in hospitals or emergency rooms. These include clinics or doctor’s offices.
This legislation is highly important because often healthcare professionals are the only ones who interact with victims without the company of their trafficker.
There are 5,680 hospitals in the United States. Only 60% identified as having a plan for treating trafficking victims. 95% of emergency room personnel are not trained to treat trafficking victims.
Senate: SOAR to Health and Wellness (S.256). has been referred to the committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension. Senator Rand Paul is on the committee. Call Senator Paul (270-782-8303) to pass this bill through committee. Call Senators McConnell (502-582-6304), Brown (513-684-1021) and Portman (513-684-3265) to co-sponsor this bill.
House of Representatives: SOAR to Health and Wellness Act of 2017 (H.R.767) has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. There are no regional reps within that committee. Call Representatives Chabot (513-684-2723), Wenstrup (513-474-7777) and Massie (859-426-0080) to co-sponsor this bill.
- 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.