Help end slave labor on the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita

Bakhita_color_oil_webToday, February 8, is the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a survivor of human trafficking and a Canossian sister. On the day that we commemorate her struggle and triumph, we remember all those caught in slavery and renew our commitment to abolish all forms of human slavery.

Today we are asking Catholic sisters and their colleagues, supporters and friends to act on that commitment.  We hope to direct thousands of calls to members of Congress asking them to support legislation that moves us closer to ending slave labor.  We are asking members in both houses of Congress to co-sponsor the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.

Please call today and share this action alert widely!

 

Call Congress

Call the Congressional switchboard 202-224-3121 where you will be directed to the offices of your members of Congress.  Please call both senators and your representative. Ask your members to co-sponsor the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015, and if they’ve already become a co-sponsor of H.R. 3226 or S. 1968, please say “Thank You!”

Suggested Script

I am _________________, a Catholic sister and a constituent.  Could I speak with the staffer who handles legislation about human trafficking, please.

I am calling to ask Senator/Representative _________ to co-sponsor S. 1968/H.R. 3226, the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.  Human trafficking and the use of slave labor is of grave concern to me.  As a consumer I care about how the products I purchase were produced.

I’m asking that the Senator/Representative to become a co-sponsor of this legislation because:

  1. •Consumers should be able to make informed decisions about what they purchase.
  2. •Congress can help hold corporations accountable for any forced or child labor in their production.
  3. •Businesses should be required to publicly disclose their efforts to eliminate human trafficking and child labor in their business operations and supply chains.

Can I count on the Senator/Representative to co-sponsor S. 1968/H.R. 3226?  Thank you!

Additional Background

The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 would:

  • •Require companies with a minimum of $100 million in worldwide gross receipts annually to report transparently to the Securities and Exchange Commission and on their websites about their efforts to address slavery and child labor within their business operations, including supply chain and labor management;
  • •Create competition to improve practices to end slavery by providing the public and the market with information about companies that are – and that are not – taking real steps to address slavery;
  • •Help businesses by establishing clear federal transparency requirements that put all businesses on an even playing field, so they do not have to comply with a patchwork of state laws in an area of clear federal jurisdiction;
  • •Not require companies to take any specific action to combat slavery within their business. This is a pure transparency measure.

This legislation is important because:

  • •Many goods Americans use every day have passed through the hands of a slave.
  • •The current legislative and regulatory framework to prevent such goods from entering the US is inadequate; the U.S. legal prohibition on importation of slave-made goods has resulted in only 40 enforcement actions on record in 80 years.
  • Passage of this provision would help fight human trafficking, forced labor, slavery, and the worst forms of child labor, and would demonstrate the U.S. commitment to freedom.
  • •The law would raise awareness of an issue that is being largely ignored by companies doing business in parts of the world where slavery is prevalent.

Additional Resources

•        Please visit www.sistersagainsttrafficking.org for additional resources of all kinds.

•        Sisters of the Holy Cross Prayer Service for the International Day of Prayer and Awareness of Human Trafficking (Feb. 8)

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