World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
July 30, 2020 is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
The following is an excerpt of an article by the executive director of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking:
Human Trafficking: The Legacy of 400 Years of Racism and Colonialism
By Jennifer Reyes Lay
While human trafficking impacts all races, ethnicities,genders, sexualities, ages, etc., we know that traffickers target those who are vulnerable. Generations of systemic racism have created stark disparities in all sectors of life: health, education, economics, housing, and employment. This puts communities of color and indigenous communities at greater risk of exploitation due to greater vulnerability.
While African-Americans make up just 12.7 percent of the total population, they account for 40 percent of trafficking victims. Even when victims of trafficking are discovered by law enforcement, those from minority communities are more likely to be treated as criminals rather
Racism against the Black community and Indigenous communities has been passed down through generations and woven into the fabric of society in the U.S. through laws, customs, beliefs, and behaviors. It is no surprise then, that racist and colonialist beliefs and behaviors also show up today in crimes like human trafficking.
May we stay ever vigilant in our commitment to the liberation of all people, to the particular work still yet to be done to decolonize our minds and practices and root out all forms of racism and white supremacy. Ending slavery is everyone’s work and it is ongoing work. Let us do it together.