Ending Human Trafficking

Trafficking Committee

What is Trafficking -  “Modern slavery,” “trafficking in persons,” and “human trafficking” have been used as umbrella terms for the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. 

Human trafficking can include but does not require movement. People may be considered trafficking victims regardless of whether they were born into a state of servitude, were exploited in their hometown, were transported to the exploitative situation, previously consented to work for a trafficker, or participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked. At the heart of this phenomenon is the traffickers’ goal of exploiting and enslaving their victims and the myriad coercive and deceptive practices they use to do so.

Trafficking should not be confused with smuggling which is the illegal movement of a person across a border with their consent. 

Overview: Because of the clandestine nature of the crime it is difficult to estimate how many victims of slavery exist at any one time in the World.  However, by modest estimates, we can assume that there are 20-30 million human beings who are enslaved in our world today. The International Labor Organization states that human trafficking is a 150 billion dollar industry. Human Trafficking is not a crime that happens “somewhere else.” Thousands of victims are trafficked within and through Canada and the United States annually. 

Learn about the different types of Modern Day Slavery

Why be concerned: Many people still think human trafficking and child sex trafficking are issues that happen in other countries and to other people, but they couldn't be more wrong. 83% of sex trafficking victims in the U.S. are United States citizens. Similarly, almost all the victims in Canada are Canadian-born. it is happening throughout the U.S. in every neighborhood, and it's most likely happening in your neighborhood.

Read more about Human Trafficking in Canada:

Read more about Child Trafficking and the Technology Link.

Stop Slavery in the Supply Chains: Learn about, and consider purchasing Fair Trade manufactured goods

Access a directory of topics related to Human Trafficking archived in the STOP TRAFFICKING newsletter



The U.S. Department of Labor reports millions of children in Africa work under hazardous conditions growing cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate. These dangers include exposure to pesticides, lifting heavy loads, using sharp tools, and working in burning fields. And out of the billions of dollars chocolate producers make each year, farmers only see 6.6% of the profits—totaling to about $1 per day.

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2021

This year’s theme puts victims of human trafficking at the center of the campaign and will highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking.

We Come as a People of Hope - Tribute to Sr Jean McLoughlin

“We come as people of hope.”  At the first Human Trafficking Committee meeting I attended in 2015, this was the prayer offered by Sister Jean McLoughlin.  Sister Jean often reminded the committee members of this important message and it is apropos of the way she lived.

Child Slavery on Cocoa Farms in Cote d’Ivoire Lawsuit

Six African men are seeking damages from Nestlé USA and Cargill, alleging that as children they were trafficked out of Mali, forced to work long hours on Ivory Coast cocoa farms and kept at night in locked shacks. Their attorneys argue that the companies should have better monitored their cocoa suppliers in West Africa, where about two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is grown and child labor is widespread.

Christmas, Chocolate and Child Labor

Though our holiday celebrations likely will be more intimate this year, it is safe to assume that they still will involve a plethora of candies and sweets. As we prepare to make and enjoy these treats, it is important to remember that the ingredients do not originate magically, but are the fruits of some person’s labor. 

July 30th Prayer Service

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2020 is marked by a humanitarian crisis in the form of a worldwide pandemic making many more people vulnerable to human trafficking.  As both a health and economic crises, the pandemic makes already vulnerable people even more susceptible to human trafficking. Learn more and what you can do to help.

Human Trafficking and Covid-19 in Marginalized Communities

Both Covid-19 and human trafficking can affect anyone at any time—no one is immune. Covid-19 has been called “the great equalizer,” and human trafficking often is described as occurring “in our own backyard.” However, marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by each, and the risk factors that increase a person’s vulnerability to Covid-19 map very clearly onto those that increase vulnerability to trafficking.

June 12th - World Day Against Child Labor

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” This was the prayer of Jesus when he preached in the home towns of his disciples. It is our prayer for today’s children caught in industries throughout our planet that use their labor which is often harmful to their health and wellbeing.

Shareholder Advocacy:A Human Trafficking Committee Member’s Perspective

“Shareholders are calling the world’s most powerful companies to address their impacts on the world’s most vulnerable communities.” This is the phrase that caught my attention about 12 years ago when I became a part of the SSND Cooperative Investment Fund.  My role as the Social Responsibility Resource Person involved participating in dialogues concerning a corporation’s environmental and social policies with their executive officers and lawyers.

Trafficking Committee

Members of the AMSSND Trafficking Committee:


  • Susan Austin
  • Marie Ciccone
  • Jean McLoughlin, SSND
  • Joan Pikiell, SSND
  • Cathy Schoonover 

Adjunct Members

Child Labor

One in 10 children are laboring in the global economy today. Often forfeiting the chance to ever begin school, these children have the highest illiteracy rates in the world.