In light of St. VIncent’s concern for slaves it is interesting that according to a report (Zenit.org) Dec. 3, 2007Â this new form of slavery is on the rise. It reported that the BBC on Nov. 6 noted that the United Nations in 2006 had named Israel one of the main destinations in the world for trafficked women. Japan is another country with significant numbers of women forced into being sex slaves. In Britain one estimate is that at any one time, up to 4,000 women are being compelled to work as prostitutes in Britain by criminal gangs.
St. Vincent would also remind us to be attentive to the underlying causes of trafficking. Human trafficking is a crime under the 2003 UN Protocol Against Trafficking in Persons, which was signed and ratified by over 110 countries. Yet trafficking continues to increase. While there may not be a single cause, there is little doubt that a signficiant cause of the increse in human trafficking in underdeveloped countries lies in poverty and lack of opportunity.
A number of web resources exist to learn more about human trafficking. See, for example: http://www.humantrafficking.org/