Bishops Kevin J. Farrell and Paul E. Lambert write in a Dallas Morning News joint column:
Hidden in plain sight in our community lies one of the most odious crimes against humankind: slavery, which is the result of the widespread trafficking of human beings. Incredible as it seems in this day and time, the person mowing your lawn or cleaning your house or selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door in your neighborhood might be trapped in involuntary servitude.
Human trafficking, as defined by the Texas Department of Public Safety, “involves the recruitment, harboring, transporting or procurement of a person for labor or services for the purpose of involuntary servitude, slavery or forced commercial sex acts.”
Certainly, as faith leaders, we have heard of the existence of this malevolent crime in the United States for several years. But, like most people, we have not been fully aware of this modern-day slavery in our community. This lack of knowledge among the general public is especially insidious because it only helps perpetuate the problem. That is why increased public awareness of human trafficking and its virulent consequences are essential to its elimination.