The issue of human slavery is a growing global crisis. The International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that 12.3 million human beings are trafficked into forced labor, bonded labor and sexual servitude at any given time. At least 79 per cent of trafficking is for sexual exploitation, mostly for the prostitution of women and girls. Children are not exempt from this atrocity. UNICEF’s executive director estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. The ILO indicates that 32 per cent are in forced labor, 43 per cent are forced into sexual crimes and 25 per cent forced to do both.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved, the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organised crime. Every country in the world, including Canada, is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
In March 2015, Canadian Anglicans joined counterparts from across the worldwide Anglican Communion at the 59th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) to advocate for gender equality.
Anglican Consultative Council response
In October 2012, the international Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) passed ACC Resolution 15.10: The trafficking of persons, requesting the Provinces of the Anglican Communion to:
- learn about, and raise awareness of, their own country’s
or countries’ involvement in trafficking
- identify resources available and activities already being undertaken
nationally in addressing the elimination of trafficking
- report findings to provincial and diocesan synods or conventions
with a view to evaluating how churches can engage prophetically
and develop local and regional strategies in response to trafficking
- promote and disseminate new and existing liturgical and theological
materials relating to trafficking in persons as a resource for local
- Stop Human Trafficking, an e-book developed from International Anglican Women’s Network Canada Human Trafficking Conference in Sorrento, B.C., 2014.
- The Government of Canada’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.
- RCMP National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking.
- The Global Freedom Network: an open association of faith leaders and organizations which aims to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking by 2020. As part of this initiative a number of religious leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, signed a Joint Declaration against modern slavery.
- Human Trafficking in Canada: A Leadership and Learning Kit for Churches produced by the Canadian Council of Churches
- Church Responses to Human Trafficking: Joint newsletter by The International Anglican Family Network (IAFN) and the International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN).