Religious women critical in fight against trafficking, says advocate

Women religious are often the first people to discover problems emerging in society because they work directly with so many people in need, an anti-trafficking advocate said. However, because religious focus more on providing assistance than publicizing their efforts, the rest of the world is often slower to catch on to where there is trouble.

Catholic sisters among those embracing international efforts against human trafficking

A growing movement is recognizing the perils of human trafficking and its wide reach throughout the world. "Trafficking for exploitation robs people of dignity. It is modern-day slavery and evokes the Old Testament situation of Moses seeing the condition of the people in slavery in Egypt and wanting to rescue them."

Q & A with Sr. Dianna Ortiz, advocate for victims of human trafficking

In 1989, while serving in Guatemala as a missionary in a Mayan community, Ursuline Sr. Dianna Ortiz was abducted and tortured by Guatemalan security forces. This trauma fueled her passion for human rights work. Ortiz now serves as the editor of Education for Justice, a project of the Center of Concern. She also founded the international Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition and served as its director for 10 years.

Q & A with Sr. Imelda Poole, networking with European religious against trafficking

Sr. Imelda Poole of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary is president of RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation). On Sunday, Feb. 7, Poole, 69, attended a prayer service in St. Paul's Cathedral in the Albanian capital Tirana, where she has been based for the past 10 years establishing her Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, which works in the field of trafficking.

Resilience in women survivors

After being involved with anti-trafficking efforts for 10 years, I received a grant from the Louisville Institute to study the resilience of women who have been trafficked here in the United States. Through my interviews, I discovered a face of the human trafficking reality that is rarely addressed. Survivors themselves made it clear that they would like more focus on their growth, goals and strength — on who they have become in their own resilience.