Human Trafficking

On November 15, 2012, the staff at our Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center and some friends and neighbors came together to learn about Modern Slavery, the Secret World of Trafficking of Women. Because of our congregation’s mission and commitment to the transforming power of Hope and we made a corporate stance to oppose Trafficking. We belong to NY’s STOP Trafficking Coalition and support Lifeways Safe House for women who have been trafficked. We invite our employees and friends to join us in this mission. We also state this.…

 We, Dominican Sisters of Hope and Associates, adopt the resolution in support of human rights by opposing the trafficking of all persons, especially women and children, for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Dominican Sisters of Hope choose at times to respond publicly to global concerns by taking a corporate stance. The issues are determined by the social teachings of the Church. The corporate stance is a statement of principle – the result of prayer, research, reflection, and discussion with possible means of implementation.

Together with staff and guests in a living room dialogue style, we watched a DVD to open up conversation on the subject of sex trafficking and to consider actions to end it. We listened as Sr. Eugenia Bonetti, an Italian Sister passionately describe her movement from a “ blaming the victim” mindset to committed advocacy toward the healing of women and awakening societies to the real truth of sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Attendees were shocked to learn of sale of persons for organ transplants and the way the issue of trafficking is hiding in plain sight at nail salons, hotels and motels and on the streets. Besides becoming aware other action steps mentioned were:  Talk about the issue with others to increase awareness; promote gender equality; work to end poverty; help a girl as a mentor; read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn; support anti-trafficking legislation; support the victim, aid the victim.

We ended our time together with a prayer to end trafficking…Oh God, our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are being transgressed through threats, deception and force. We cry out against the degrading practice of trafficking and pray for it to end. Amen.

Dominican Sisters of Hope and Associates Take Corporate Stance against Human Trafficking

The Dominican Sisters of Hope are a member of NY-CRC-STOP, represented by Bette Ann Jaster, OP, on the Core Committee.  This is a Coalition of Religious Communities of women and men who meet to learn and work to stop Human Trafficking in both the sex-trade industry and in slave labor.  Human Trafficking is the modern-day practice of slavery.  Trafficking in persons comprises the latest growing criminal industry in the world.  It is based on the recruitment, harboring, and transportation of people solely for the purpose of exploitation.

The Coalition’s co-chairs are Joan Dawber, SC, and Mary Heyser, RSHM.  There are active committees on Education, Safe House, and a separate Board of Directors for the newLifeWay Network Safe House that opened in December of 2011.  The Dominican Sisters of Hope are co-sponsors of the endeavor.

November 11, 2007 

The Dominican Sisters of Hope have adopted the following resolution:

We, Dominican Sisters of Hope and Associates, adopt the resolution in support of human rights by opposing the trafficking of all persons, especially women and children, for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Dominicans (Order of Preachers) across the country have been called to challenge the systems that dominate and oppress our world and to preach truth that liberates all. The National Dominican Stop Trafficking Committee has distributed facts and encouraged the viewing of documentaries on the issue. The Dominican Sisters of Hope leadership joined “The New York Religious Congregations against Trafficking” early in 2007. At the Dominican Sisters of Hope Assembly in July 2007, 97 sisters and associates signed letters to CEOs regarding “A Code of Conduct” with respect to human trafficking.

Sister Patricia Jelly, OP, Justice Promoter for the Dominican Sisters of Hope, said: “We are becoming more and more aware of the number of trafficked persons in our area. We are committed to doing everything we can to further awareness of the issue and to enable victims to get the services they need. It is essential that human trafficking gets prosecuted.”

Implementation of the corporate stance by the Dominican Sisters of Hope includes: a commitment to prayer for an end to the grave injustice of trafficking of persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor, collaboration with advocacy groups such as the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, support of recovery programs for victims of trafficking, and the use of our economic power as consumers and investors to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society that works against incentives for trafficking.