Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Every year, millions of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers in their own countries and abroad.  No sector or industry is immune from human trafficking.  Victims may be workers in food processing factories, waiters or cooks at restaurants, construction workers, agricultural laborers, fishers, housekeeping staff at hotels, domestic help in private residences, or sex trafficked women and men in brothels, spas and massage parlors.”

-       United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. You may be surprised to know that there are almost 25 million victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation worldwide. According to information provided by the USCCB:

-       The average person has purchased goods or services that were produced, at least in part, by victims of human trafficking. This includes everything from fish, cotton, rice, cement, and even Christmas decorations.


-       While human trafficking does occur in illicit underground industries such as brothels and the drug trade, it is also found in legitimate businesses, such as in the hotel, construction, agriculture, and restaurant sectors.


-       Men, women, and children do not need to be kept in chains or beaten to be considered victims of trafficking. Traffickers often use methods of fraud and coercion to "imprison" their victims. This may take many different forms, including threatening to kill or harm loved ones, tricking the victim into thinking he/she owes him/her a debt, or threatening deportation in the case of the foreign-born victims.


Although the problem may appear to be so overwhelming and big that there is nothing one individual can do to make a difference, the truth is that every person can help bring an end to human trafficking. You can learn more here and here.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2023

January 6 Interfaith Vigil

On January 5, Bishop John Stowe of Kentucky, President of Pax Christi USA and Sr. Carol Zinn, SSJ, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, are joining the Franciscan Action Network and others for an on-line interfaith vigil to commemorate the attack on the nation's Capitol on January 6, 2021. 

According to the organizers, "The aim is to reclaim January 6 and make it a  day of unity, tolerance and respect.  No partisan speeches or politicians, just people sharing their faith in song and prayer. It all starts with our interfaith candlelight prayer vigil on Capitol Hill!"

They will be joined by Rabbi Stephanie Crawley, Associate Rabbi at Temple Micah, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, President & CEO Interfaith Alliance, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Director of the Kairos Center for Religion, Rights, and Social Justice and Imam Dr. Talib M. Shareef, President, Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque.

The on-line event will be from 6-7 p.m. For more information or to register, click here.

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