April is the National Sexual Assault Awareness month. As part of this year's celebration, I had the opportunity to speak with the New York Chapter of Zonta International. The goal of Zonta is to improve the lives of women by the following objectives:
- To improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy.
- To work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of executives in business and the professions.
- To promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- To be united internationally to foster high ethical standards, to implement service programs, and to provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations, and the world.
The Zonta Chapter of New York invited me to speak to the issue of human trafficking and how the local Zonta Club could become active on the topic. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been involved with campaigns to stop the spread of human trafficking for many years.
In my presentation, we spoke about the different types of human trafficking, including:
- Forced labor
- Sex trafficking
- Bonded labor
- Debt bondage among migrant laborers
- Involuntary domestic servitude
- Forced child labor
- Child soldiers
- Child sex trafficking
There are many ways that groups and individuals can get involved to stop human trafficking. You can:
- Support federal legislation like S. 596, the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2011 and ask your Senators to co-sponsor the legislation.
- Ask businesses to sign onto “the Code,” an agreement by businesses to increase the protection of children from sex tourism.
- Individuals can also ask their local grocers to take action to ensure the produce sold in their store is from a just work environment.
- Support the Red Hands Campaign, a campaign with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, the Child Advocacy Office of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program to eliminate the use of child soldiers around the world.
If you are interested in finding out how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is involved in human trafficking, please visit our webpage.