February 14, 2012

Global Action Lived Locally: A Case Study from the Americas

Take Action to Stop Trafficking

The Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas have been addressing human trafficking out of a commitment to persons living in poverty and particular concerns for women, for immigrants and an end to violence. Efforts by the Sisters of Mercy include:

    Take action to stop trafficking
  • Whether they are complicit in the act or not, hotels, including major chains headquartered in the U.S. and abroad, sometimes serve as locations for sex trafficking operations. To raise awareness of management and guests, sisters are taking action to educate and draw attention to these activities.
  • Sisters in the Midwest are contacting hotels within a 50-mile radius of Indianapolis, as part of an initiative by the Coalition for Corporate Responsibility for Indiana and Michigan (CCRIM), to heighten the businesses' awareness of human trafficking prior to the Super Bowl to be held in that city on February 5.
  • A sister in North Carolina is participating on a committee that is developing outreach efforts to hotels around Charlotte, North Carolina, prior to the Democratic Convention to be held there in the summer.
  • Mercy Investment Services provides a way for hotel guests to educate staff about human trafficking and urge management to sign onto an international Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. Those who adopt and sign the Code of Conduct commit themselves to informing customers of their child protection policy, training staff, reporting cases and application of other measures to protect children.
  • The Sisters of Mercy are now official sponsors of "Stop Trafficking." Sponsorship includes supporting the "Stop Trafficking" newsletter and the Sisters of the Divine Savior's safe house for women coming out of situations of human trafficking. The SDS Hope House, located in N. San Diego County, has served nine women since opening in 2008.
  • Mercy Sisters in the Caribbean, Central America and South America are participating in educational workshops organized through the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Human Trafficking, in collaboration with the International Organization of Migration. They hope eventually to help form a Caribbean and Central American network against human trafficking.
  • A member of the Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team is participating in a new committee on human trafficking organized by Mercy International Association. The task force aims to join Sisters of Mercy around the world in efforts to combat human trafficking and to educate people about this form of modern day slavery.

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