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Modern-Day Slavery: Bringing Awareness to Human Trafficking in 2017

Modern-Day Slavery: Bringing Awareness to Human Trafficking in 2017

Hands in chains

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month serves as a time to bring awareness to the issue of modern-day slavery: the trafficking in persons that occurs around the world and within communities in the United States. Human trafficking is the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. At least 20 to 30 million men, women, and children are victims of trafficking each year, globally.

While there are many forms of human trafficking, the prevalence of forced labor is particularly striking. The International Labor Organization estimates that over 75% of human trafficking is forced or state-imposed labor exploitation, yet forced labor represents only 10% of trafficking convictions.

For Human Trafficking Awareness Month, members of the Washington Inter-Religious Staff Community have put together an interfaith resource on human trafficking, which highlights basic information about trafficking with an emphasis on forced labor, perspectives on the issue from a variety of faith traditions, and ways to take action against human trafficking. Take a look at the Judaism section in particular for additional texts, prayers and resources.

The Torah emphasizes the critical value of fair treatment of workers, stating "You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer," (Deuteronomy 24:14-15). We are called to raise our voices to bring awareness about modern-day slavery, and to do what we can to combat it and end it.

To learn more about human trafficking, visit our issue page. Be sure to follow @theRAC on Twitter for facts and information on the issue leading up to Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11.  

Maya H. Weinstein is a law student at the University of North Carolina, where she is pursuing a career in education law. She was a 2016-2017 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, where she also served as the Legislative Assistant for Women of Reform Judaism. Maya is from Fort Myers, FL, and earned her B.A. from the George Washington University. 

Maya H. Weinstein

Published: 1/10/2017