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Ahead of Trade Vote on Human Trafficking, Faith Activists Speak Out

Ahead of Trade Vote on Human Trafficking, Faith Activists Speak Out
23 Groups Send Letter Calling on Senate to Support “No Fast Track for Human Traffickers” amendment to S. 995
Washington – This weekend, Sister Jeanne Christensen with Sister of Mercy and a leading advocate against human trafficking wrote “I am deeply troubled by the recent turn of events in the Senate as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill is debated.”
With the Senate nearing a vote on the controversial Hatch-Wyden-Ryan fast track bill, Sister Christensen asks, “Will ethical and moral concerns be upheld by the senators, or might this end up being just lip service? … Instead of advancing international human rights, will we see the Senate disregard high standards for U.S. trading partners, to ensure access to cheaper manufacturing? Are cheap products from unscrupulous governments worth more to us than ending modern-day slavery?”
The op-ed was followed today by a letter sent by leading faith groups calling on the Senate to take the chance given to them this week and vote against human trafficking being supported by our trade policy.
“Our partners in the United States and around the world witness the human cost of modern day slavery, which traps an estimated 21 million individuals into forced labor and sex trafficking and leads to immense physical and emotional suffering,” the groups write. “We believe that upholding human rights and enforceable standards to eradicate human slavery should be at the center of any multilateral trade negotiation, in accordance with each of our religious and moral teachings.”
The groups which signed the letter, a copy of which is attached, are:
  • American Jewish World Service
  • Bakhita Initiative
  • Bernardine Franciscan Sisters
  • Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
  • Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness
  • Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
  • Daughters of Charity, USA
  • Franciscan Action Network
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  • Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
  • Leadership Conference of Women Religious
  • NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
  • Religious Sisters of Charity
  • Scalabrini International Migration Network
  • School Sisters of Notre Dame, U.S. Shalom Offices
  • Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Leadership
  • Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Institute Leadership Team
  • Sisters of the Holy Cross
  • Trinity Health
  • Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
  • United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
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