Catholic Relief Services responds to Human Trafficking

By Abigail Keefe
November 19, 2004

Global migration and human trafficking has become a huge distress for CRS, also known as Catholic Relief Services. “What we are seeing globally is a growing concern of displaced people,” CRS spokeswoman, Mary DeLorey, said. “They have no choice!”

CRS dates back to 1943 and is founded by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Their main purpose is to assist the poor and disadvantaged that live outside of the country. They have helped out during natural disasters, supported self-help programs, and provided religious teachings to those in need of help. As of now their main objective is to help the 25 million internally-displaced people.

Latin America is resident to many of these people, especially Columbia, home to 3 million refugees. Without the help from their government, these refugees have no choice but to migrate in order to meet their basic needs. This has become a worldwide issue, but effort to help those in need have been undermined.

“In a world of globalization, the issues of labor and demographics have changed. Opportunity to work has shifted rapidly,” DeLorey said.

When people migrate they are being faced with a new horror. Now outsiders are being treated as criminals. Instead of getting the work they are desperately seeking, they are being rounded up for deportation, abused, abandoned in the desert, locked up for later “express kidnapping” or killed by gangs.

Trafficking is another problem the migrants have to face; it is the third largest criminal business worldwide. Trafficking is the use of people as a form of commerce, a reemergence of slave labor and extreme forms of sexual exploitation. This is “the ugly end result of communities that have been ignored.” This is not a known problem because people tend to accept it as a way of life. Fact is, this is a major issue and steps need to be taken in order to prevent this from getting out of hand.

The CRS is lending a helping hand by creating programs that focus on prevention, reintegration and public awareness campaigns. They also contribute to efforts to decrease individual and community vulnerability to trafficking. CRS is a major influence and through their efforts maybe this dilemma will come to a cease.

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Abigail Keefe

Abigail Keefe is a Cabrini College student studying communications, enjoying her time in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Abbie loves working for the school newspaper, the Loquitur, and is also passionate about everything that the communication field has to offer.

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