Breaking the root causes of human trafficking

Breaking the root causes of human trafficking

Breaking the root causes of human trafficking

Breaking the root causes of human trafficking

Breaking the root causes of human trafficking

Breaking the root causes of human trafficking


During these six weeks leading up to Aguchita’s birthday, we shall share reflections on how her life and ministry echoed each of the six areas of intervention for the Congregation – long before they were defined in our Position Papers. In this, our third sharing, we reflect on Aguchita’s approach to the trafficking of women and girls.

Today, as in Aguchita’s time, Peru was a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, there were reports that the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, recruited children as soldiers and drug mules.

In the following excerpt, taken from the book Aguchita: Mercy and Justice, we read how it was a child soldier who shot and murdered Aguchita, a girl who was perhaps herself a victim of trafficking and forced into combat.

Moments later, the executions began. All those whose names had been called out formed a line and were executed one by one in front of the local people who looked on in terror. When it was Sr. Aguchita’s turn, a young girl soldier shot her five times: twice in the left side of her body, twice in her left arm, and once in the left side of the skull. This is how Aguchita died.

The Congregation’s position on the trafficking of women and girls highlights how we seek to analyze and address its root causes, examining and unmasking the links between trafficking and policies of economic injustice, violence against women, discrimination of the girl child, militarization, inadequate migration support, and the disconcerting social acceptance of women and girls in situations of prostitution.

We do not know if Aguchita knowingly worked with trafficked women and girls, but we do know that she actively sought to challenge the issues that have been identified as the root causes of trafficking through her work to fully empower women and girls in all spheres of activity.

Since Aguchita’s time, tens of thousands of sisters worldwide have dedicated their lives to protecting their communities from exploitation. Last night, at the Sisters Anti-Trafficking Awards, our Sr Marie Claude Naddaf from the Province of Lebanon-Syria received the Human Dignity Award for her lifetime achievement in addressing exploitation in a way which has proven impactful and sustainable. She leads the way among our many sisters and partners-in-mission who have been committed to the fight against human trafficking

Today, ask yourself what awareness have you of the linked root causes that allow trafficking to continue in one form or another – and what do you do to challenge these root causes and break the chain of human trafficking?


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