California home to large human trafficking industry

Slavery is found throughout the state, but major hubs are focused in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco

Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise.  An estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry, it constitutes one of the gravest offenses against human dignity - preying upon the most vulnerable women, children, and men who are frequently tricked or coerced into preforming uncompensated work or degrading and dangerous activities.  As Pope Francis has … [Read more...]

Sad tale of a child sex slave

Duñia Zelaya and ex-labor slave Bishan Kumar share their stories during the L.A. Freedom Walk

“I knew my life wasn’t normal,” Duñia Zelaya said of her childhood. She vividly remembers the night her mother and stepfather dressed her in strange clothes and did her makeup before driving her to a bar to work as a sex slave. She can’t remember her age, but she was probably 7. Her mother gave her a drink to “give her courage.” Her two sisters, who were older though still … [Read more...]

Hidden crime in plain slight

California is largest receiving state for human trafficking

The following comes from a December 31 Catholic Voice article by Michele Jurich: "Human trafficking has lots of different faces," said Holy Family Sister Caritas Foster, who has spent the last decade raising awareness of the "hidden crime in plain sight." January has been designated as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness Month, and with the Super … [Read more...]

Catholic sisters work to stop sex traffickers at Super Bowl

Informational meeting on October 3 at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco

The following comes from a September 22 Catholic San Francisco article by Christina Gray: Bay Area Catholic sisters from more than a dozen religious communities hope to tackle the influx of sex traffickers expected at next year’s Super Bowl by educating the hospitality workers serving its Santa Clara venue, the director of the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Office of … [Read more...]

Slavery surpasses drug trade in San Diego

Children of the Immaculate Heart hosting a human trafficking forum on May 11

The following is from an article by Grace Williams of Children of the Immaculate Heart: Jesus used the words “captive” and “oppressed” to begin his earthly ministry, declaring that the Spirit was upon him to give liberty to those who are oppressed. There are many forms of captivity in our world today – spiritual captivity to sin, political oppression by unjust powers, and … [Read more...]