Module 7: Human Trafficking and Catholic Social Teaching

Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

Based on our belief in the rights and dignity of the human person, Catholic teaching promotes the rights and dignity of workers.  Forced labor, exploitation of workers, sex trafficking, modern-day slavery, and all forms of human trafficking are violations of human dignity and so the Church has initiated strong efforts to oppose and end these practices.

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Based on our belief in the rights and dignity of the human person, Catholic teaching promotes the rights and dignity of workers.  Forced labor, exploitation of workers, sex trafficking, modern-day slavery, and all forms of human trafficking are violations of human dignity and so the Church has initiated strong efforts to oppose and end these practices.

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Course materials

Module Materials

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Understand how Catholic teaching approaches the issue of human trafficking.

  2. Explore Catholic Church efforts to end human trafficking worldwide.

  3. Learn about other faith-based interventions and approaches.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What are the foundational ideas informing Catholic social teaching on human trafficking? How does the lens of Catholic social teaching inform our understanding of modern-day slavery?

  2. What are some of the main approaches that Catholic social teaching uses to address human trafficking? Identify specific examples. Are they successful and why or why not?

  3. Based on your understanding of Catholic teaching, suggest additional ways that Catholic advocates can work to effectively eradicate human trafficking.

  4. How are Catholic approaches similar and different from other faith-based approaches?

 

Primary Resources

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

 

Explore the many resources that Catholic Relief Services offers as part of its I am Human Trafficking campaign – for example: Take Action Now, I am Human Trafficking 101, or Learn & Pray.  [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

 

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

 

St. Josephine Bakhita: Her light still shines brightly

As she lay dying in 1947, St. Josephine Bakhita cried out, “Loosen the chains…they are so heavy.” This former slave is an inspiring example of resistance, solidarity, and justice. [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3]

 

Leanne Petti.  “St. Josephine Bakhita: Her Light Still Shines Brightly.”  Catholic Relief Services.  Catholic Relief Services, February 6, 2017.  Web.

 

Catholic Relief Services calls for action against slave labor in the video Preserving Dignity in the Amazon: CRS’s work to combat Human Slavery in Brazil.  5:21 minutes.  [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3] 

 

Preserving Dignity in the Amazon: CRS’s work to combat Human Slavery in Brazil.  YouTube video with commentary from Catholic Relief Services, December 8, 2015.  Web.

 

Turn on the Light. Help Stop Human Trafficking.

Catholic Relief Services’ website gives basic information, videos, and other resources on what human trafficking is, ways in which people can combat this crime, and some global statistics. [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3, 4] 

 

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

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

The document, Human Trafficking,  by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will familiarize you with the issue of human trafficking and the Church's position on this “horrific crime against the fundamental rights and dignity of the human person.” 2 pages.  [TAGS: learning objective 1; discussion question 1]

 

“Selected Quotations from Catholic Social Thought on the Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Labor Unions.” Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Web.

 

Through its "Anti-Trafficking Program," the USCCB offers a multi-layer approach through education, activisim, direct assistance, and other integration initiative for victims and their familes.  There are also many useful links for further exploration according to individual interests. [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

 

“Anti-Trafficking Program.”  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2018.  Web.

 

Explore the Biblical Scriptures and Traditions behind the Catholic teachings on the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers. [TAGS: learning objective 1; discussion question 1]    

 

“The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers.”  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2018.  Web.

 

The Vatican on Human Trafficking

 

No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters

Francis asks "my brothers and sisters in faith and all men and women of good will for a decisive choice to combat trafficking of person, which include 'slave labor'." [TAGS: learning objective 1; discussion question 1]

 

“Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace 1 January 2015: No Longer Slaves, But Brothers and Sisters.” Delivered by Francis at The Vatican, January 1, 2015. Web.

 

Within several weeks of Francis assuming office, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciencesbegan studying Modern Slavery to define the conditions under which this practice – as an affront to human dignity – can be rendered unsustainable.” Their website, #EndSlavery, provides a thorough look at different social issues that risk the wellbeing of those implicated and has action opportunities for ordinary Catholics. [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3, 4] 

 

#EndSlavery. Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2015-2017. Web.

Contribution of Catholic Social Teaching

 

Rerum Novarum, written by Leo XII in 1891, was the first modern papal document on social teaching.  The fact that it focused on labor and the rights of workers is an indication of the importance of the rights of workers in Catholic teaching.  Explore its three major themes in the ACSJC Summary and Discussion Guide: Rerum Novarum (on Capital and Labour).  2 pages. [TAGS: learning objective 1; discussion question 1] 

 

ACSJC Summary and Discussion Guide: Rerum Novarum (on Capital and Labour).” Australian Catholic Social Justice Council. Web.


Read a short summary of John Paul II’s encyclical Laborem Exercens, written in 1981, on the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum. Published: November 21, 2011. [TAGS: learning objective 1; discussion question 1]

 

“Laborem Exercens (On Human Work).”  California Catholic Conference.  California Catholic Conference.  November 21, 2011.  Web

 

Selected Quotations from Catholic Social Thought on the Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Labor Unions[TAGS: learning objective 1; discussion question 1]   

 

“Selected Quotations from Catholic Social Thought on the Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Labor Unions.”  Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Web.

 

US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking

 

Scroll down this web page to access a webinar, Help Put an End to Human Trafficking; begin at minute 19:74.  The U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking is discussed, specifically the work of Sr. Ann Oestreich.  Other actions described are Sisters’ work of direct assistance to survivors in shelters, advocacy, and shareholder activism through strategic investment in public companies.  31:54 minutes. [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3, 4]

 

Help Put an End to Human Trafficking.  Webinar with commentary by Christine Cervenak, Notre Dame's Center for Civil and Human Rights, and Sr. Ann Oestreich, IHM, of the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking.  University of Notre Dame.  University of Notre Dame The Notre Dame Alumni Association, 2018.  Web. 

 

Access the Talitha Kum website, specifically the Resources Tab, to learn more about this international network of Consecrated Life against trafficking in persons. [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3, 4] 

 

Talitha Kum Arise: Join the Network Against Trafficking in Persons. Talitha Kum Arise. Web.

 

 A statement from the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking “The Nexus Between Migration and Human Trafficking” draws light onto the “increase in human trafficking in the United States and around the world, some of which results from forced migration and our failed national refugee and immigration policies.” [TAGS: learning objective 2; discussion questions 2, 3] 

 

"The Nexus Between Migration and Human Trafficking."  The U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking: Ending Slavery is Everyone's Work.  U. S. Catholis Cisters Against Human Trafficking, 2017.  

 

Interfaith Toolkit to End Trafficking

 

UNICEF USA developed an Interfaith Toolkit to End Trafficking to educate faith leaders, faith-based organizations, and houses of worship on the issue of human trafficking and equip them with the tools and resources they need to take action against it. Choose from either the USA Version (15 pages) or Global Version (15 pages). [TAGS: learning objective 3; discussion question 4]

 

“Interfaith Toolkit to End Trafficking: End Trafficking Campaign.” unicef USA. U.S. Fund for UNICEF d/b/a UNICEF USA, 2018. Web.
Secondary Resources

In Life and Dignity of the Human Person, explore the Biblical Scriptures and Traditions behind the Catholic teachings on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person.  Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.    

 

Human Dignity: The Cornerstone of Catholic Social Teaching discusses how “(s)cripture makes it clear that each and every person is made in the image and likeness of God.” Author: Luke Stocking and John Gabor.  Source: Development and Peace.  Published: February 13, 2013.

 

John Paul II, in his encyclical letter Centesimus Annus, honors the hundredth anniversary of Rerum Novarum. Read a 6-page summary, “Characteristics of Rerum Novarum” found in the letter. Published: May 1, 1991.


Explore the Catholic Church’s teachings on human trafficking on Convocate, a searchable database that “brings Catholic Social Teaching and International Human Rights into Dialogue.” Learn how to do a search and use Suggested Search Terms Source: The Center for Civil and Human Rights and Hesburgh Libraries: Convocate - Bringing Catholic Social Teaching and International Human Rights into Dialogue.