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National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is January 11, 2010

In Las Vegas, the Associates and Sisters have been working very hard to use this date, as an awareness and educational “moment”. To commemorate this day, Associates and Sisters have been stuffing “thousands” of small plastic bags with rosary beads and prayer cards, to be handed out after all the Masses on the 10th, and 11th, of January.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is a perfect time to let people know that human slavery – also known as human trafficking – is still happening today! Millions of people, including children as young as age five, are among the millions of people recruited, sold, and otherwise enslaved globally each year for the purposes of prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. In Las Vegas, the sex industry is a multibillion-dollar business each year, and that is why we have focused in on prostitution for human trafficking.

After hearing Sister Martin, suggest saying the rosary for victims, we moved ahead and developed a Rosary for prostitution victims “Set the Captives Free Rosary”. The front of the card compares the five sorrowful mysteries, with the tragic reality that the women and children face each day as victims of this crime. The back of the prayer card tells “What we can do to help the elimination of this problem.

These women and children are not anonymous, faceless victims: they’re someone’s daughters, sisters, mothers and friends.

What can we do?

  • Learn more about sexual slavery and the complex reasons it exists;
  • Raise awareness about sexual exploitation as a local and national concern in need of prayer;
  • Advocate for tougher laws to fight trafficking and exploitation of human beings; and
  • Join or support groups that work to end sexual trafficking of women and children.

In Las Vegas, we need to become a strong abolition movement for the elimination of sexual trafficking, the prosecution of sex traffickers, and the protection of survivors. In the light of this whole human rights violation, and because of forces like “Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman who has proposed legalizing prostitution in Las Vegas as a ‘redevelopment tool, and has suggested turning ‘old motels into beautiful brothels,” our Sisters and Associates are sponsoring a prayer campaign to stop this horrible situation in our city and around the world.

When are people trafficked?

Each year vulnerable women and children are lured, coerced, tricked, kidnapped and sold into the hands of those making billions in this sex trade.

And where are they trafficked to?

These women and children are obtained for sexual exploitation in direct prostitution, production of pornography, nude dancing or live sex shows.

  1. People are trafficked to residential homes in expensive neighborhoods for prostitution.
  2. People are trafficked to Massage parlors for prostitution.
  3. Strip clubs and lap dance clubs.
  4. Women and children are trafficked through Escort Services provided in Las Vegas.

We know this through police reports, FBI investigations, and ICE Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Investigative journalists like John Smith, and George Knapp also have written reports in our local newspapers. Victims are made to endure unspeakable acts of physical brutality, violence and humiliation including rape by so called customers. In their daily lives they acquire alcohol and drug dependencies, suffer major psychological trauma as a result of their extreme emotional and physical abuse.