The 2009 UCC Synod Resolution and 2011 Disciples Assembly Resolution against human trafficking urge congregations to recognize January 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Use the Sunday closest to the date to learn about trafficking in persons and discuss how to become advocates for those victimized by such human rights abuses.
"From factories and brothels to farms and mines, millions of men, women, and children in the United States and around the world are exploited for their bodies and their labor. Whether through violence, deceit, or the promises of a better life, some of the most vulnerable populations among us -- including migrants and refugees fleeing conflict or disaster, homeless LGBT youth, Alaska Native and American Indian women and girls, and children in poverty -- are preyed upon by human traffickers. In order to rid the world of modern slavery we must do everything in our power to combat these violations of human decency."
-President Obama's Proclamation for 2017 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Resources for Human Trafficking Awareness Day
- Global Ministries Resources on Human Trafficking
- The Sum of Justice for Human Trafficking: Prayer of Lament and Libation By Rev. Waltrina N. Middleton (Download)
- A Litany of Commitment to address Human Trafficking during the Super Bowl by Rev. Loey Powell (Download)
What Can You Do for Human Trafficking Awareness Day?
1. Plan a worship service with a human trafficking theme.
2. Plan a community awareness event in your community. Speaker ideas: local coordinator of a human trafficking awareness organization, police department, Salvation Army.
3. Host a Human Trafficking Mission Fair for local churches in your community. Invite local organizations to have a table and display; make displays on each of the Break the Chains grant recipients—email them for flyers and up-to-date information to share on their ministry; have a speaker; have a dinner with a free-will offering to benefit a human trafficking abolitionist group or outreach to trafficking survivors or other related organization.
4. Ask your local library to have a display in the month of January on books in their library on the issue of human trafficking. Make a display board to place with the book display.
5. Write letters to the editor to your local newspaper on the issue or write a guest commentary on the issue for the paper.
6. Have an awareness/fundraiser event to support a local human trafficking abolitionist or outreach organization.
7. Invite women in your community to a Human Trafficking Awareness Breakfast with a speaker.
8. Hold a book discussion using a book on the issue of human trafficking. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a great book for this. You might want to do this in conjunction with your local library.
9. Use one of the many "Real Women, Real Leaders" podcast series produced by American Baptist Women's Ministries that have discussed the issue of human trafficking. You could plan this with a group of women once a week for the month of January using one episode each week or as a one-time event with a time of prayer after listening to each podcast.
10. Movie Night—Show one of the recommended movies on the "Break the Chains" website (www.abwmbreakthechains.org) and have a discussion afterwards.
11. Prayer Walk/Candlelight Vigil—Plan a prayer walk in your community bringing awareness that human trafficking happens in every community. End at your town center or a church with candles and a time of prayer.
12. Make a traveling mural focusing on victims of human trafficking. (This is a great way to get your youth involved.) Begin in your church and arrange for it to be on display at a different church, the public library, or town hall in your community each week through January. It could also be accompanied by an informational display on the issue.
13. Plan a brown-bag lunch time discussion at your workplace, sharing with your colleagues about the issue of human trafficking.
14. Decorate the outside of your church with lights, purple ribbons, and a human trafficking banner so that your church will be a beacon of light on this issue in the month of January.
More Information on Trafficking in Persons