The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hold a Corporate Stance against Human Trafficking, which states, “the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus stand in solidarity with the victims of human trafficking. We condemn the use of violence, abduction, fraud, deception, coercion, or debt bondage to transport women and children from their homes for prostitutions, sexual exploitation, forced labor and/or real or virtual slavery.” In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights that would reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit.”
To further illuminate the horrors and prevalence of human trafficking an Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium was held yesterday at Cabrini University, co-sponsored by the Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition of the Missionary Sisters chaired by Karol Brewer and the Engagement with the Common Good (ECG) 200 Class of the University. The symposium was held to educate and raise awareness about human trafficking and featured many experts who are working against human trafficking.
An invocation and opening remarks were presented by Sr. Bernadette Casciano, MSC. The keynote address was given by Pearl Kim, JD, who is the former Senior Deputy Attorney General for Public Engagement within the Executive Office of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and a fierce advocate in the fight against human trafficking and sexual assault. Ms. Kim offered an overview of the hierarchical trafficking and prostitution culture that exists in the U.S. She spoke of Asian massage parlors in the U. S. that many times are fronts for trafficking operations. many of those who are trafficked are immigrants from other countries. In addition to sex trafficking, labor trafficking is even more prevalent. She also spoke of the legislation that is pending with regard to trafficking.
Following the keynote address, a panel of experts: Hugh Organ from Covenant House, which offers services to meet the complex
needs of homeless,runaway and trafficked youth 21 years of age and under; Katrina Stopfer, from the Salvation Army’s New Day Drop-In Center in Philadelphia through raising awareness, training and direct services for victims of human trafficking; and Stephanie Blakeman, a case manager from the Nationalities Service Center, who works directly with survivors of human trafficking and is responsible for coordinating and locating services for clients in their path toward independence.
The symposium was rounded out by William Johnson, a deputy with the Philadelphia’s Sheriff’s Office and who works on a FBI task force aimed at combatting human trafficking and crimes against children.
All those in attendance were encouraged to get more involved in the fight against human trafficking. Donations of gift cards to (Target, Walmart), items such as underwear, feminine hygiene products and toiletries can be donated to the Cabrini Closet as a resource for those who are trafficked.
~ Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium program