The MSCs stand in solidarity with the victims of human trafficking and the plight of immigrants around the globe. They remember their own roots as immigrants and are followers of a Savior whose family fled into exile. Their rule of life, set forth in their Constitutions, states, "as Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we must be open to all people because Jesus welcomed all and gave Himself for all." The Sisters pledge to educate themselves and others regarding the prevalence, causes, and solutions to both these topics.
Many people assume that trafficked persons in America come primarily from other countries illegally smuggled immigrants, tricked by the promise of employment. While this is the case for some victims, surprisingly, most victims are not foreigners. They are actually young women and children born in the United States (every 10 minutes a woman or child is trafficked in the U.S.). In fact, according to the Department of Justice report, more than four-fifths of victims in confirmed sex trafficking incidents were identified as U.S. citizens (83%). After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms trade as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and it is the fastest growing.
With this in mind, the MSCs have created a new coalition Cabrini Action and Advocacy. Advocacy is taking Action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice for all.
What is Human Trafficking?
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes states: “Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.”
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. We thought slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s alive and well today with more slaves than at any point in history. In fact, there are twice as many slaves today as during the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade. (Estimated at 27 million worldwide.)
Signs of Human Trafficking
• Is the person accompanied by a controlling person or boss?
• Does the person speak on his or her own behalf?
• Does the person lack control over personal schedule, money, ID, travel documents?
• Is the person transported to or from work?
• Does the person live and work in the same place?
• Does the person owe a debt to employer/crew leader?
• Is the person unable to leave his or her job?
• Does the person seem afraid, depressed or overly submissive?
• Does the person have bruises or other signs of physical abuse?
Most trafficking victims fit a very similar profile. Most of them have been forced into prostitution. Most of them have been raped and physically assaulted numerous times. Victims generally will not maintain eye contact. Most of them appeared to be very depressed, for obvious reasons. All of them showed signs of post traumatic stress disorder.
The female victims in public places usually sit gathered around other victims. They appear to be somewhat separated from the crowd, including the legitimate employees. They will all be dressed in similar inexpensive clothing. This clothing is commonly revealing, and the victims will appear uncomfortable wearing revealing clothing.
The victims generally have no idea of where they are, not even what city they are in. They have no financial assets. Many of them live in an apartment that was rented by the traffickers, or their owner. They share this apartment with many other victims.
The victims will not usually speak to anyone other than a "client" due to the fear of repercussions from the trafficker. They will usually only be seen in a bar, hotel or other places they are working in. They are usually not allowed out in the public. There are generally one or more people who are in charge of the victims when they are in the bar, hotel, etc. and at the location where they are being housed.
End Human Trafficking
Creator of all of us, our words cannot express
what our minds can barely comprehend and our hearts feel
when we hear of children and adults
deceived and transported to unknown places
for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor
because of human greed.
Our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry
that their dignity and rights are being transgressed
through threats, deception and force. We cry out
against the degrading practice of trafficking
and seek ways for it to end.
Strengthen the fragile-spirited and broken-hearted.
Make real your promises to fill these, our sisters and brothers
with a love that is tender and good
and send the exploiters away empty-handed. Give us
the wisdom and courage to stand in solidarity with them,
that together we will find ways to the freedom
that is your gift to all of us. Amen.
Gen Cassani, SSND
Help Save a Life
One goal of the Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition is to be a social change vehicle that seeks to reveal the realities of human trafficking and to change cultural norms surrounding the issue. By increasing understanding of human trafficking, more victims will be identified and protected and more traffickers will be identified and prosecuted.
Please join us in the fight to finally end slavery. Learn the signs of human trafficking - it could be taking place right next door to you. One phone call could save a life! Since trafficking thrives on secrecy, the more you know, the more you can do to prevent it. Place the Anti-Human Trafficking Hotline number in your cell phone today 888-3737-888.
Click Here to view our PowerPoint presentation on Human Trafficking.
After viewing our PowerPoint please forward it to your friends, family, co-workers, etc. Perhaps you could print it out and share with those you know who may not use email.
To learn more about Human Trafficking visit:
Polaris Project - www.polarisproject.org
UNANIMA - http://www.unanima-international.org/eng/what-we-do/programs/human-trafficking
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (ICE) - http://www.ice.gov/human-trafficking/
Not My Life (http://notmylife.org/about-film)
Very Young Girls - (https://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Very_Young_Girls/70102769?locale=en-US)
Truckers Against Trafficking (http://vimeo.com/21392891)
Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir - Rachel Lloyd
God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue - Daniel Walker
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide - Nicholas D. Kristof,
Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery - Siddharth Kara
Somebody’s Daughter: The Hidden Story of America’s Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them - Julian Sher
For further information or to become involved please contact:
Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition
An invitation to pray and live the Charism! the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Stella Maris Province, invite you to join us in prayer and in living our charism to bring the love of Christ to the world. Our Cabrini Companion program offers such an opportunity.
From the time of Mother Cabrini, the treasure of our lay women and men who have been part of our mission throughout the years is priceless. We are extending that relationship through one more avenue - Cabrini Companions. Our Companions commit to pray with us, for us, and our missions. Further, we ask that you live out the charism in your own location, seeking to find Christ in others, and to bring Christ to all you encounter.
There is no application process, no dues, only prayer and life, which is in itself a significant gift to us. If you would like to join us, please email us your contact information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we receive your desire to be a Companion we will send you a resource prayer book and a simple pin. You will also receive a Weekly Update, the weekly newsletter of the Stella Maris Province of the MSCs. It will be sent electronically, so be sure to include your email address. The Update brings you news and highlights from our vast geographic province which includes the United States: Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington State, in addition to Australia, the Philippines and Swaziland, Southern Africa. You are most welcome to submit prayer requests for posting in the Update and on the Mother Cabrini website prayer list: From time to time notices and information will be sent along as well.
After our first year we now have welcomed 200 Cabrini Companions from 13 U.S. States and three countries!
Foundations of Cabrini Leadership is an orientation program for new trustees and senior staff members of the Cabrini institutional ministries.