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Focus Issues

Your JPIC Committee:
IBVMs Frances McCarron, Betty Crotty, Lorna Hays, Barb Nelson


JPIC Update - Immigration

In keeping with our 2010 Assembly commitment, the JPIC is making strong progress in addressing the IMMIGRATION issue, both financially and by awareness. Two funds have been set up in our JPIC account. One is for “Dreamers” (assistance for the Dream Act education program) and one is for general assistance in applying for citizenship through the Department of Homeland Security. To date we have been able to assist three people from the Mary Ward Center and hope to expand our efforts. As you may recall, ANY IBVM or ASSOCIATE throughout the province may refer someone who needs assistance. Contact anyone on your JPIC committee for more information.
Donations for these funds made to the IBVM Office of Development are forwarded to the JPIC funds. Several large donations have already been made and a collection at the Advent Prayer Service at Wheaton garnered $473.00. The average fee for assistance is $465.00.

The IMMIGRATION issue has been before the U.S. Congress and states’ legislatures for a long time. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for immigration reform. Let us pray that at least some issues are resolved to the benefit of all.

from Illinois Women Religious Against Human Trafficking

 January -- Human Trafficking Awareness Month

The United Nations currently estimates human trafficking to be the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, second only to drug trafficking in terms of illicit money. Experts believe that 27 million people around the world live in slavery, and between 14-17,000 people are brought to the United States for exploitation as domestic servants, restaurant workers, janitors, agricultural workers, seamstresses, factory workers or in the commercial sex trade. Runaway children in the United States are at high risk.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery.  Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women. Trafficking is a federal crime but its very nature makes it difficult to detect.

In a 2003 New York Times article, Chicago was identified as a national hub for human trafficking.  Naperville, Downers Grove, Aurora, Wheaton and other cities have had occurrences of sex trafficking     Chicago’s access to airports and major interstates offers strategic entry points for traffickers and their victims. The city’s major events and attractions make Chicago a tourist destination where demand is high, enabling traffickers to exploit vulnerable women and children. An estimated minimum of 16,000 to 25,000 women and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Chicago every year.    From:  Illinois Rescue and Restore

Trafficking in children (child trafficking) is a global problem affecting large numbers of children. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.  There is a demand for trafficked children as cheap labor or for sexual exploitation. Children and their families are often unaware of the dangers of trafficking, believing that better employment and lives lie in other countries.
Child trafficking is lucrative and linked with criminal activity and corruption. It is often hidden and hard to address. Trafficking always violates the child’s right to grow up in a family environment. In addition, children who have been trafficked face a range of dangers, including violence and sexual abuse. Trafficked children are even arrested and detained as illegal aliens.

Prayer to End Human Trafficking
Loving and compassionate God, we pray for the release of the millions of innocent children, teenagers, women and men who have been drawn into prostitution, sweatshops and domestic servitude by human trafficking. Increase our awareness of this terrible injustice. May the compassionate people who seek to help these victims be blessed in their efforts to free them from captivity and to provide safe shelters for them. We confidently ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Action:  Learn about Human Trafficking at the US Catholic Bishops website --  http://usccb.org/about/human-trafficking/        www.polarisproject.org

 

Chocolate Fair Trade: (excerpt from FAIR TRADE NEWSLETTER January, 2011)

Of the cost of a $1.00 chocolate bar, the candy company gets 95 cents and the farmer gets 5 cents. Research by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture revealed that 248,000 children between ages 5 and 12 work in hazardous conditions on West African cocoa farms. 67% do not attend school, are underfed, locked in filthy quarters, work 12 hours a day, are unpaid and have never tasted chocolate.

For more info: globalexchange.org/cocoa

Ask for Fair Trade Products (FTC) at:

  • Whole Foods: coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, wine, rice, flowers
  • Traders Joe’s: coffee
  • Target: Wandering Grape FTC wine