HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Whose Business Is It?
The Travel Industry’s Role in Ending Modern-Day Slavery
The Vincentian Center for Church and Society, the Ladies of Charity and the Office of Multicultural Affairs at St. John’s University sponsored a day long workshop drawing attention to the role of the travel industry in Human Trafficking.
Slavery is one of the most egregious violations of human dignity. Human trafficking is the means of enslaving millions of men, women, and children each year for labor, sex, or other forms of exploitation. This conference explores the relationship between the travel industry, travel, and travelers to raise awareness of this serious issue and to call all people to work to end human trafficking.
Keynote presenter Sandi D. Mitchell spoke of a travel industry initiative that combats child sex trafficking and human slavery through education, advocacy, and survivor support.
Among the presenters were Joan Dawber, S.C., Kati Hamm, S.C. and Margaret John Kelly, D.C.
Other topics included: When Business Takes The Lead; The Code, ECPAT USA: Initiatives That Matter; What Smart Travelers Know; The Cultural Environment that Creates Demand; and Trafficking Through the DA’s Eyes.
Goals of the Conference:
• To provide education to increase awareness and foster activism to stop the trafficking of humans for any purpose;
• To explore the role of the travel industry and travelers in combating human trafficking, as well as the current best practices; and
• To create an agenda for action with the participants of the conference.
Pope’s previous statements on human trafficking
Today in this city we want the cry heard, God’s question: Where is your brother? May that question of God run through all the city’s neighborhoods, run through our hearts, and above all may it also enter the hearts of the modern “Cains.” Perhaps someone will ask: What brother? Where is your slave brother, the one whom you are killing every day in the clandestine workshop, in the network of prostitution, in the huts of youngsters that you use for mendacity, as a “bell” for the distribution of drugs, for robbery, prostituting them? Where is your brother who, as homeless, has to work in secret because he is yet to be formalized. Where is your brother? And, in face of this question, we can behave as the priest did who passed by the one who was wounded, we can pretend we are distracted, as the Levite did, looking away because the question is not directed to me but to someone else. The question is for everyone! Because, established in this city is the trade of persons, that aberrant crime of the Mafia (as it was so rightly described a few days ago by an official): Mafia and aberrant crime! (September 25, 2012).