Events are being planned nationwide to recognize Jan. 11 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. An estimated 27 million people are trafficked globally on an annual basis, the largest percentage being women and children. Human trafficking is growing in the crime industry, second in scope only to the drug trade and equal to arms. Revenue from human trafficking is estimated at more than $32 billion annually.
Nationwide events will range from a Walk 4 Freedom in Los Angles to a rally for awareness at the New Jersey State House in Trenton. The United States bishops' conference will also be distributing awareness materials to parishes prior to Jan. 11 and has set aside Feb. 8 as a national day of prayer for survivors and victims of human trafficking.
In an address to 17 new Vatican ambassadors on Dec. 12, Pope Francis called human trafficking "a crime against humanity and must be stopped."
What event does your church, organization, or community have planned to bring awareness to human trafficking on Jan. 11? To add to the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Events listed are on Jan. 11 unless otherwise noted.
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Mesa, Mass of Remembrance for Unidentified Migrants, 8:30 a.m., St. Timothy Catholic Church
Los Angeles, Walk 4 Freedom – 9 a.m., St. Basil Church
(January 24) Orange County, Free Them: An Art Event with food, musicians, dancers, poets, chalk art and more - doors open at 6:30 p.m., Cottonwood Church, 4505 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos
Brighton, Prayer Vigil - 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, 637 Cambridge St.
Rochester, Breaking the Chains of Slavery: Protecting our Children - 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Assisi Heights, 1001 14th st NW
Omaha, reflection and prayer sponsored by U.S. Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking - 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., St. Pius X, 6905 Blodo St.
Morristown, Sex and Money: A National Search for Human Worth sponsored by Junior League of Morristown, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Malcolm Forbes Amphitheater
Trenton, Awareness Day Rally – 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., New Jersey Statehouse
(January 16, 2014) McCandless Township, Prayer Service to End Human Trafficking, 7 p.m., Sisters of Divine Providence Auditorium, 9000 Babcock Boulevard, sponsored by the Catholic Sisters Leadership Council of Western Pennsylvania
(January 27, 2014) Cleveland, Human Trafficking Awareness event, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Terminal Tower in Downtown Cleveland. The Collaborative to End Human Trafficking in partnership with the Cleveland Transit Authority will provide services for victims and have displays and materials available for commuters.
[Colleen Dunne is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is email@example.com or follow on twitter @coldun14.]