By Katie Mahon, Communications Manager
Throughout January, many organizations, including Women Religious, will be observing National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and raising awareness about the horrors of human trafficking that still occur today.
Presently, nearly 25 million people, including adults and children, are subjected to human trafficking. This number has risen throughout the years due to traffickers taking advantage of fallout caused by natural disasters, conflict, and even the pandemic. (1)
Sr. Arlene Flaherty, OP, a Sister of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, has been a fierce advocate in the fight against human trafficking.
In 2021, she reflected on this issue and shared that, “During Human Trafficking Awareness Month, it is critically important that we, Dominicans, use the pulpits and platforms to which we have access, to raise awareness and promote actions to end this egregious abuse of human rights and sinful violation of human dignity.” (2)
Sr. Arlene went on to add, “To end the scourge of modern-day slavery, it takes a willingness to reflect on how our lifestyles may inadvertently create the demand for the services that trafficked persons provide. It also takes a willingness to recognize the signs of human trafficking. It takes a commitment to see other human beings as brothers and sisters and not commodities in what Pope Francis describes as the ‘modern throwaway culture.” (2)
Along with these efforts made by Sr. Arlene and others throughout the month, it should be noted that January 11th marks National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. (3)
One of the goals of this annual observance is to help educate the public to recognize signs of human trafficking and report suspected instances. (3)
To show support of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, you are encouraged to wear Blue clothing and post on social media using the hashtag #WearBlueDay. (3)