Module 6: Effective Responses to Human Trafficking

Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

This module lays out a variety of responses to modern slavery, taken from the individual level to that of national governments, aimed at addressing the scourge of human trafficking around the world. Students will learn about and evaluate a range of approaches and consider their own responses.

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Course materials

Module Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. Survey a range of responses to human trafficking.

  2. Explore the ways students can address human trafficking in their own lives.

  3. Explore the responses of the Catholic Church and other faith-based organizations and what more could be done.


Discussion Questions

  1. What are some projects or movements against human trafficking? What questions do you have about their impact?

  2. Do you think more resources should be spent on prosecution, protection, prevention, or partnerships (from the 4P approach)? Defend your position.

  3. Exploring the 4th P, partnership, what roles do you think different actors/groups should play in combating human trafficking—the government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, religious groups, business, and others? What collaborations or partnerships among these actors would be most impactful?

  4. What is your own response to human trafficking, today, over the next year, and longer term?

  5. What makes a Catholic response to human trafficking distinct? Why are Catholic and other faith-based responses necessary?

Primary Resources

Survivor Stories


These are three stories of human trafficking victims-turned-survivors that will evolve during the succession of the Modules. They will elaborate on some examples of real life experiences.  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2] 


Joseph's Sons


Catholic Relief Services Resources


Turn on the Light. Help Stop Human Trafficking.

This webpage gives basic information and features several videos and other resources describing what human trafficking is, how CRS responds, and how others can get involved.  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Turn on the Light. Help Stop Human Trafficking.  Catholic Relief Services.  Web.

Trafficking in Persons Policy Recommendations

Based on its experiences over the prior 15 years, Catholic Relief Services made recommendations to the U.S. government in Trafficking in Persons regarding their joint efforts to eradicate human trafficking.  Access an overview or the full 20-page Policy Paper[TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Trafficking in Persons.  Catholic Relief Services, 2016.  Web.

Ethical Trade

Catholic Relief Services' Ethical Trade is a celebration of the dignity of work.  Access the website to learn more through education, advocacy, and conscientious purchasing. Explore the story of “The People Behind Your Purchase.”  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 4]

“What is CRS Ethical Trade.”  Ethical Trade.  Catholic Relief Services, 2016.  Web.

Erin Mackey.  “The People Behind Your Purchase.”  Ethical Trade. Catholic Relief Services, 2018.  Web.

Stories from the Field: Saving Girls from India’s Sex Trade

Marketable skills and education are the best defense against human trafficking. Watch a 4:37-minute video about CRS’s work in India to prevent modern-day slavery.  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 4]

Stories from the Field: Saving Girls from India’s Sex Trade.  YouTube video with commentary from Catholic Relief Services, June 23, 2010.  Web.

I am Human Trafficking

Explore the many resources that Catholic Relief Services offers as part of its I am Human Trafficking campaign, including how-to-guides for campus events and advocacy opportunities.  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 4]

“I am Human Trafficking.”  CRS University. Catholic Relief Services, 2018.  Web.

Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking


Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking integrates Pope Francis’s comments on the plight of millions who are trafficked and enslaved into ten sections of realities and responses that may be useful to Catholics and others in their pastoral ministry, in planning and practical engagement, in advocacy and dialogue.  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2 ,3; discussion questions: 1, 3, 4, 5]

Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking. The Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. 2019. Web.

What You Can Do To End Human Trafficking


Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights lists different ways that individuals can join the fight against human trafficking across these types of efforts: pray, learn, act, advocate, and support.  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 3, 4]

“What you can do to end human trafficking.”  The Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame, Keogh School of Global Affairs.  University of Notre Dame The Center for Civil & Human Rights, 2018.  Web.

15 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking


The U.S. Department of State lists 15 different ways that individuals can fight human trafficking. These include 10 activities all can engage in, and then specific actions for businesses, students, health care providers, journalists, and attorneys.  [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2,3, 4]

“15 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking.”  U.S. Department of State Diplomacy in Action.  Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs.  Web.
Secondary Resources

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking offer educational modules on different dimensions of human trafficking. 

#EndSlavery is the Vatican's official initiative to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking.  

Co-authored by the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center and the Freedom Fund, Ending impunity, securing justice: Using strategic litigation to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking details how advocates can use strategic litigation to create systemic change in combating human trafficking.  Citing successful case studies, the report is a guide for advocates interested in pursuing strategic trafficking litigation worldwide.  Recommended reading: Pages 2 – 8.  20 pages.

In New trends in the fight against human trafficking: what works?  Martina Vandenberg, of The Human Trafficking Legal Center, discusses the use of strategic litigation, use of financial data, linking corruption and trafficking, criminal restitution and compensation for trafficking survivors, and survivor-led initiatives.  Video of her presentation held on November 29, 2017 at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights.  I:08:53 minutes.

Human Trafficking and Public Corruption: A Report by the International Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force against Human Trafficking discusses the large role that corruption plays in human trafficking and suggests ways to reduce it.  Chapter 5, Chapter 6, and Key Recommendations (on page 52) are especially relevant.  52 pages.  Source: International Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force Against Human Trafficking.  Published: 2106. 

In “Modern Day Slaves are Suing the Traffickers” Martina Vandenberg and Nick Grono talk about the power of strategic litigation via survivors of trafficking suing their traffickers.  Source: The CNN Freedom Project.  Published: January 8, 2016. 

The National Human Trafficking Hotline website provides key information about human trafficking including definitions, its manifestations, and reasons for trafficking’s existence as well as a hotline for support.  Source: National Human Trafficking Hotline.

The Fair Trade Federation seeks to strengthen and promote North American organizations fully committed to fair trade and thus the avoidance of slave labor in their supply chains.  The Federation is part of the global fair trade movement, building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty.

"Policing modern slavery: Software that detects human trafficking" is an article describing potential responses to human trafficking using technology.  Source: The Economist.  Published: May 3, 2018.

"100 Best Practices in Combating Trafficking in Persons: The Role of Civil Society" lists diverse examples of efforts to address human trafficking.  Source: Johns Hopkins University.  Published: 2012.

Singing to the Lions is CRS’s free training tool that is designed to help children and youth lessen the impact of fear and violence in their lives. It uses games, art, discussion and drama to help participants resolve the impact of violence, abuse and trafficking, and to heal. Singing to the Lions is available in English, French, Spanish with Arabic and Hindi in the process. Access more information, including a training video, here.


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