The crime of human trafficking

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Editor:

The Jan. 17 issue of the Catholic Star Herald describes accurately modern day slavery as the heinous crime against the basic dignity and rights of a person (Modern Day Slaves Living Within Our Midst: A Statement by the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on Human Trafficking). We appreciate the New Jersey bishops’ endorsement of the need to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking.
We understand the significance of New Jersey’s bishops responding to this serious social injustice since the 2014 Super Bowl will be played at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The FBI, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, child advocacy groups, human rights groups, various police and law-enforcement agencies are deeply concerned. Our organization, the Catholic Daughters of America, Court of Our Lady of Mercy, Number 1665 in Sea Isle City, has been working on this issue for more than a decade.
It is a stunning revelation to discover that sporting and entertainment events are prime sites for the monsters who prey on the vulnerable and naïve. In November of 2013, our Catholic Daughters Court had a speaker from the Institute of Religious Teachers Filippini, Sister Mary Beth Lloyd, whose mission is helping rescue and try to heal victims of this global tragedy.
She described one of the strategies that these predators use very effectively: They entice gullible youth with notices on the Internet that they have been awarded tickets to an event. A room in a hotel in the area is the meeting place for the unsuspecting youth, where they are flattered and fawned over, and then informed to which hotel room they should go to pick up the tickets. They may never be seen again.
Our organization remains committed to this issue, despite the enormity of the problem. We will need the same from New Jersey’s bishops and sincerely hope that they will continue their strong attention to this affront of vulnerable human beings. In addition, we will need New Jersey’s citizens to join us in our efforts. Please pray for the innocents.

Catherine Verna
Legislative Representative
Catholic Daughters of America
Court of Our Lady of Mercy, Number 1665
Sea Isle City