A panel on the issue of human trafficking told a live and Internet audience today that everyone is complicit, and needs to do whatever he/she can to prevent it.
Speaking at a parallel event of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori shared a shocking overview of the extent of human trafficking around the world.
Statistics included the fact that half of all trafficked people are children, and 80% are female. 15,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year with half ending up in the sex industry. This modern-day slavery is, she said, “an act of violence against human beings made in the image of God.”
(The Rev. Brian) McVey was also one of those who stressed the Christian’s duty to address trafficking and minister to those affected by this ubiquitous crime. The Anglican Communion’s Network Co-ordinator and Women’s Desk Officer, the Revd Terrie Robinson agreed, “We [Christians] have a special place in this whole issue because we are the body of Christ in the world and we have responsibility to tell of trauma, but also of the good news of what transforming love can achieve.”
Mrs Robinson also shared about other Provinces of the Anglican Communion, most notably Southern Africa and North India, that had tackled trafficking head-on. She said the Anglican Communion has resolutions and statements calling on Member Churches to act on this issue.
Mrs Robinson added that, at its heart, the call to address human trafficking was the call to promote right relationships between men and women, boys and girls.