Anglicans begin to respond to human trafficking

Forty or so people from all over the Anglican Communion recently met in Hong Kong to plan a coordinated response to the scandalous practice of human trafficking. The most common form involves forcing children and women into the sex trade, but its rising tide now includes forced labor and organ harvest.


Episcopal News Service has an excellent report on the conference. In the report there are a number of outcomes highlighted, including the following:

“The faith-based approach to the subject of trafficking, as well as the various best practices described, made an impression on the representatives of non-church agencies. ECPAT’s Capaldi said he was sure that he and other ‘secular’ agencies in the fight against trafficking would invite faith-based organizations into their planning and implementation efforts henceforth.

Another positive outcome came when Anglican UN Observer Wangusa noted her desire to organize an Anglican Communion-wide conference on trafficking in the future. Nine persons — Anglicans/Episcopalians as well as outside experts – volunteered to serve on a planning committee. (This initial consultation was planned for Wangusa by Alessandra Pena, Beth Adamson, Christina Hing and Maylin Biggadike, AUNO/AWE volunteers; Peter Ng, the Episcopal Church’s partnership officer for Asia and the Pacific; Anna Gula, AUNO intern in New York; and the Rev. Peter Douglas Koon, general secretary of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.)”

As a priest in Phoenix, Arizona, the kidnapping capital of the United States, I can testify that this is problem that is growing worse in parallel with the economic situation. Most of our problem is due to drug cartel violence, but a significant portion has to do with human smugglers stealing the other smugglers “cargo” and then holding the people for ransom.

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