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Boston Area Religious Women Host Prayer Vigil in Commemoration of Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Boston, MA: Local Catholic Sisters representing sixteen congregations in the Greater Boston area will gather on Saturday, January 11, 2014, from 1:00-2:30pm at 637 Cambridge St. Brighton, MA, to commemorate the eighth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Human Trafficking Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual slavery and human trafficking worldwide.  It started in 2007, when the U.S. Senate designated January 11th as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  Although it is a U.S. initiative, the United Nations has begun to highlight this topic and working towards global awareness.  

This year’s vigil will also honor the memory of Carole Lombard, CSJ, who passed away in July, 2013 and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking. Carole was a founding member of the Boston Anti-Trafficking Coalition and an advocate for Massachusetts legislation on behalf of victims and survivors of human trafficking.

Participants are invited to gather in the Motherhouse Chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph, for a prayer vigil to raise awareness and pray for an end to human trafficking. All who are concerned about human trafficking are invited to join in this prayer vigil coordinated by the Anti-Trafficking Coalition of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious [LCWR] – Boston Unit.

Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery. While many call it a hidden crime, it exits right here, right now in the Boston area. The goal of the Anti-Trafficking Coalition [ATC] is to raise awareness of the reality of human trafficking both locally and globally and to alert concerned people of good will about how individuals can make a difference in eradicating human trafficking.

Roman Catholic women religious have been key leaders in the national and international movement to stop human trafficking. The prayer vigil is free and open to the public.

When:            Saturday, January 11, 2014 1:00-2:30pm

Where:           637 Cambridge Street, Brighton, MA,

We will gather in the Chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse and proceed outside for the vigil.

Contact:        Rosemary Hanlon at 617.746.2028



The Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious includes several religious congregations representing over 800 women religious in the greater Boston area.


 Background Information

An estimated 850,000 people are trafficked annually worldwide, according to the U.S. State Department, 20,000 of them into the United States. Human trafficking forces men, women, and children into pornography, prostitution and other sexual exploitation, as well as labor exploitation. In 1998, the realization that trafficking was a growing problem around the world—and that it was being largely unaddressed—led to the formation of a, broad-based coalition of women's organizations, faith-based groups, children's groups, labor groups, and health groups. Together this bi-partisan coalition drafted and helped pass the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The law provides a comprehensive approach to elimination of trafficking in persons through a three-pronged strategy—prevention, prosecution, and protection. In 2003 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services began educating segments of the public about the horrors of human trafficking. Their efforts began with members of women's religious communities who have the potential to educate and influence others on behalf of victims of trafficking.


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