Stop the Demand

woman with picture
Kay Chernush, for the United States Department of State

That is the theme of a new campaign to end human trafficking that was launched by UNANIMA International on March 13 in New York City. The flyer promoting the campaign declares: The buying and selling of human persons, especially women and children for sexual exploitation, is today’s most common form of slavery. This practice is driven by the demand of those who buy sex.

Maybe you have heard about human trafficking in news reports, or perhaps you have seen the issue in story lines of popular television shows like CSI or Law and Order. But how much do you really know about the topic?

Two Sisters of Providence from Mother Joseph Province — Sisters Judith Desmarais and Charlene Hudon — are active in promoting the campaign that is being championed by women religious. They want you to know human trafficking is not occurring just in faraway places.

Federal experts have indicated that one of the nation’s top hot spots for human trafficking is the city of Seattle because of its many points of entry. As a result, federal and local officials have an Anti-Trafficking Task Force to improve enforcement efforts. The Seattle Police Department also has one full-time detective assigned to investigate such cases and the department partners with agencies that provide specialized services to trafficking victims.

How can we help?

We can start by getting educated about the exploitation of women and children that is going on right under our noses. Look for information in the Summer 2008 issue Caritas, and visit UNAMIMA International.