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Sisters take official stance against human trafficking
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Dominican Sisters of Peace have approved a corporate stance to end human trafficking, according to Sister Judy Morris, OP, justice promoter for the congregation of Catholic Sisters. “The reality of thousands of our brothers and sisters laboring in modern-day slavery compels us to act now to stop human trafficking and to serve the survivors of this crime,” said Morris.
“This stance proclaims that it is our mission to be a prophetic voice in solidarity with the poor, the marginalized and oppressed,” Sr. Judy said. “Our 600 Sisters and 500 lay associates had the opportunity to vote on the stance and now commit our support to efforts to end human trafficking.”
Human trafficking is a world-wide tragedy involving at least 12.3 million people in 161 countries, including the United States. “The victims of both sex and labor trafficking are primarily children and teenagers,” Sr. Judy said. “Sexual exploitation, prostitution and forced labor strip individuals of their human dignity, freedom and basic human rights.”
The Sisters support the strengthening of laws to reduce the incidences of human trafficking, and support expanding resources, such as safe houses, to support survivors of this modern day form of slavery. “The congregation will continue its efforts to raise awareness of the epidemic of human trafficking through group presentations and letter writing to local representatives, hotel managers and airline representatives. We will also work to raise awareness and educate communities prior to large sporting events, as these gatherings draw large number of traffickers.”
In the effort to end human trafficking, the Dominican Sisters of Peace join with many groups, including social service agencies, peace and justice organizations, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
A corporate stance is a deliberate public statement made by a religious congregation expressing a position on an issue of human concern, gospel values and/or societal systems. Before the congregation takes a corporate stance, members prepare by studying and discussing all sides of the various issues involved; a vote is then taken, with a two-thirds majority needed to pass.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace live and minister in 36 states and in Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and Vietnam. They are committed to greater involvement in the global community and simplicity of life, with diverse ministries that include education, health care, social work, spiritual direction, and parish-based ministries, among others. They work to create environments of peace by promoting non-violence, unity in diversity, reconciliation, and justice through solidarity, especially for women and children.