forced migration and human trafficking – a disturbing connection

Let us take time to remember the strength, courage, and resilience of the millions forced to flee their homes by violence of every kind. Today, more than 50 million people are displaced by war and violence, some 33.3 million in their own country and 16.7 million as refugees, mostly in neighboring countries. Every 15 minutes a family is forced to flee their homeland.

This year U.S. Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) invites you to be particularly mindful of the link between . Men, women, and children are made vulnerable to human trafficking by the mass displacement caused by violence, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises, natural disasters, and conflict. Impoverished, vulnerable people are targeted by traffickers who promise to provide education and opportunity only to exploit them through forced labor, sexual exploitation, enslavement, or organ theft.  The U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year.

Please call your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the bi-partisan Senate Bill 1580, “Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act.”  You can find your Senators’ contact information by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Senators’ office.  For more information on the bill, go to:  https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1580.

When you call your Senator, here is a sample script for you to use:

“As a person of faith, I am asking Senator _______ to support Senate Bill 1580 which is the “Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act”.  This bill urges the consideration of the educational needs of vulnerable women and girls and would work to provide safe primary and secondary education for displaced children.  Today, there are more than 50 million people who have been forced to flee their homes because of violence.  Approximately 16 million of these are refugees who are seeking safety in other countries.   There is a strong link between forced migration and human trafficking.  Impoverished vulnerable families are often targeted by traffickers who promise to provide education and training but instead exploit them through forced labor, sexual exploitation and trafficking in organs.  Senate Bill 1580 would assist in helping increase access of displaced children, especially girls, to educational opportunities.  It would assist in advancing programs to build the capacity of institutions in countries hosting displaced people to prevent displaced children from facing educational discrimination.  I am asking you to please support Senate Bill 1580.  Thank you.”

Thank you for being a voice for those who are struggling to find a safe place in the world.

 

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