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Empowering victims of human trafficking

When we met a survivor of human trafficking and learned that a quarter of all people trafficked into the United States come through Texas, our parish, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, decided to take action. We joined the Amistad Movement, an initiative of USCCB Migration and Refugee Services (MRS), which seeks to empower immigrants to raise awareness and work to end human trafficking. With MRS’ help, we created and implemented a program to educate local parishes in our diocese on the issue of human trafficking. This training helps parishes gain the information and skills they need to educate parishioners and to reach out to vulnerable populations that might be at risk. We also provide direct services to victims of human trafficking, helping survivors adjust to normal life and participate in our Catholic community, if that is their wish. Our hope is for them to be successful, which starts with addressing their basic needs and supporting them emotionally and spiritually. Together, we are striving to shine light on the issue of human trafficking and to empower its victims.