“Human trafficking is a grave crime against humanity. It is a form of modern day slavery and a profound violation of the intrinsic dignity of human beings. It is intolerable that millions of fellow human beings should be violated in this way, subjected to inhuman exploitation and deprived of their dignity and rights. This outrage should concern each one of us, because what affects one part of humanity affects us all. Virtually every part of this world is touched in some way by the cruelty and violence associated with this criminal activity. If we are to combat this evil then we must work together to prevent the crime, support the survivors and prosecute the criminals.” – The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby
On Sunday 19th October 2014, communities and faith groups all over the world will join together to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking and show the world our compassion for the men, women and children who are trafficked and exploited.
Freedom Sunday began out of a movement organised by Not For Sale in the USA, uniting a group of churches together for a day of focus, prayer and worship centred around human trafficking. The following year, Not For Sale partnered with STOP THE TRAFFIK in Australia to involve Australian groups and denominations. This year, we’re delighted that Freedom Sunday is involving even more groups and communities from across the world, joining together in prayer and action to demonstrate a united and tangible response to human trafficking. This abhorrent crime must not be tolerated. We will make commitments to take action to prevent trafficking in our local and global communities.
Human Trafficking is the world’s fastest growing global crime and is one of the largest sources of income for organised criminals. The profits are high and the risks are low. It’s a system based on greed, control and power. It’s a global market place where people are the product and everyone has a price tag. This crime is based on an international conveyor belt of transactions and exchange, with sophisticated trade routes and communications. This human product creates profit in the tens of billions every year and growing. Those trafficked are often invisible, always powerless, and are put to work.
That’s why it’s important that we have a day to concentrate our efforts and reflect on what we are able to do to prevent trafficking in our context.
STOP THE TRAFFIK activists come from a variety of faiths and cultures, brought together by the common goal of ending human trafficking. We celebrate this diversity for the wonderful display of global unity that it is, but we also want to support cultures and faith networks in finding an expression of activism that fits within their context. That’s why we’re calling on people from all systems of belief to work with us in developing resources that will be most helpful to them so that Freedom Sunday can act as a galvanising force in coordinating efforts against human trafficking everywhere.
It’s a day to focus, a day to lament and a day to cry out against global injustice. It’s also a day to empower and take stock. Trafficking occurs when people are taken from one community into another, so as voices within our own communities we have the power to effect change. Freedom Sunday is about equipping communities with the knowledge and the confidence that is necessary to stamp out trafficking in our areas.
The resources for churches are available to download from our website. They include suggested sermon notes, liturgies and a Freedom Prayer written specially by renowned poet Gerard Kelly. This year, we’re also excited to partner with, and develop resources for, other communities (faith-based or otherwise) that would like to join us in making the day a truly universal event. If you’re a representative of a group that is passionate about fighting trafficking and would like to work with us in developing resources to suit your gatherings then please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d also love to hear from anyone who is preparing their Freedom Sunday programme and to hear stories of how raising awareness of human trafficking has made an impact. If you have any stories or further questions then please get in touch by the above email address.
Together we can stop trafficking and start freedom.