Misericordia University to hold human trafficking simulation

Somers -

DALLAS TWP. – Misericordia University Campus Ministry will hold a human trafficking simulation to recognize International Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 in Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms 218 and 219 of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall.

The program is open and free to the public.

Participants will go through a variety of simulated human trafficking scenarios that will provide examples of the more than two million estimated cases of human trafficking that occurs worldwide annually.

Scenarios will include child labor in the cocoa bean industry of the Ivory Coast, worldwide sex trafficking, domestic trafficking and sweatshops.

The Misericordia program will take place just a few days after Super Bowl Sunday, considered the day of the most human trafficking in the United States.

Also, the annual Day of Prayer is Feb. 8 on the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakhita, who bore 144 physical scars throughout her life. She received the scars after being kidnapped in her home country of Sudan and sold into slavery. In 2000, she was canonized.

Human trafficking is believed to be the third-largest criminal activity in the world, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It is a form of human slavery which includes forced labor, domestic servitude and commercial sex trafficking. Victims are treated as slaves and bought, sold, smuggled, beaten, starved and forced to work as prostitutes or to take jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant or factory workers with little or no pay.

In the United States, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reports there were 30,918 substantive phone calls, emails and online tips reported in 2016 about human trafficking cases and issues related to it in the U.S. and U.S. territories.

In 2007, Polaris, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization, established the national hotline to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors of human trafficking. The Department of Health and Human Services, as well as private donors and supporters, provide funding for the hotline. The National Hotline is available at help@humantraffickinghotline.org, or by visiting www.humantraffickinghotline.org.

For more information about the event, contact Christine Somers, director of Campus Ministry, at csomers@misericordia.edu, or 570-674-6314.