GC14

At the General Congregation held in September 2014 at Loyola, Spain, the following statement was adopted.

IBVM Corporate Stance on Human Trafficking

 As members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an international and multicultural congregation of women religious, we pledge to work for the eradication of all forms of human trafficking and its causes, particularly among women and children, wherever we live and minister.

The issue:

Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery wounding women, men and children around the globe by recruiting, harbouring or transporting them by force, fraud or coercion. It is the second largest crime in the world generating billions of dollars for traffickers while victimizing millions of people some as young as four years of age. An estimated 20.9 million women, men and children worldwide are victims of international traffickers. This number reflects those within our borders and across international borders. Victims can be found in domestic servitude, commercial sex industry, hotel and restaurant services, sweatshops, construction, agriculture, mail order brides, child soldiers, panhandling, as well as, the harvesting of organs and illegal adoptions. This crime will continue to exist as long as the demand is high and financially profitable for the traffickers.

Human trafficking exists in all the places where IBVM members, associates and co-workers live and minister. IBVM members are working with others in education, advocacy, prevention, prayer and other ways to address the issue of human trafficking. We add our voice and actions to those of many other religious congregations and civil society NGOs.

 Some Suggested Responses

  • praying for victims and survivors of human trafficking as well as the perpetrators
  • becoming better educated about the issues related to human trafficking and by raising awareness with others – among members, associates and in our ministries
  • educating first responders to victims e.g. emergency room employees, social workers, police, etc.
  • collaborating with organisations who work with victims/survivors of human trafficking by networking, advocating for them, providing human services and giving financial support and housing when possible.
  • supporting legislation in one’s country regarding human trafficking.
  • engaging in advocacy efforts related to human trafficking e.g. writing letters and/or phone calls to legislators, vigils, use of media, meeting with political leaders
  • advocating to get human trafficking education into the curriculum in schools, including education on the different aspects of human trafficking, especially in schools
  • examining our purchase practices – use of slave free products
  • learning about our financial investments and the stance of the managers and companies as regards human trafficking
  • keeping a record of our Province efforts on human trafficking and sharing them and those of the representative at the United Nations with Institute members and others every six months for the purpose of our own country and region
  • working toward systemic change, especially in the area of prevention.

 

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