Uniting Against Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is so widespread that U.S. congregations of women religious are uniting in a nationwide effort to limit its reach. For years individual congregations have run human trafficking awareness programs regionally. Sister Margaret Nacke, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kan., said it was time for congregations to come together to make better use of the resources and programs they had developed. The combined effort will focus on broader education about sex and labor trafficking, legislative advocacy for stricter laws and penalties for traffickers and improved social services and employment support for victims. Jeanne Christensen, S.M., the justice advocate for the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community in Kansas City, Mo., said, “Coming together in one group helps to concentrate the voice and the power in a good sense.” The collaborative campaign was formalized during a three-day meeting of representatives of a dozen congregations active in antitrafficking programs in local communities and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in mid-April in Washington.

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