CSJPs Declare Independence from Slavery on 4th of July
Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace joined with other women religious in Seattle, Washington on July 4th to declare independence from slavery on behalf of victims of human trafficking.
“As we celebrate our freedom this Independence Day,” said Sister Susan Francois, CSJP, “millions of women, men and children are in slavery like conditions. Slavery is illegal in every country, yet it is thriving not only in places like Southeast Asia, but here in Seattle and King County. We must declare our intent to Stop the Demand for slavery.”
More than 12.3 million people are in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution according to the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report recently released by the U.S. State Department. This year, for the first time, the annual report includes information about human trafficking in the United States. An estimated 17,000 to 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year. U.S. citizens—especially children—are also at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking.
The Pacific Northwest is a hotbed for human trafficking. The I-5 corridor is a transport artery for both human trafficking and illegal drugs. Seattle, a port city, is a transit point for victims from countries in Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. A Justice Department study placed Seattle among 12 “hub cities” where traffickers recruit teens for sex work and move them around the country.
The July 4th vigil was organized by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, a ministry co-sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.