More than 40 million people around the world are victims of trafficking, forced labor, and modern-day slavery, and the current COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the circumstances that contribute to these conditions. To help raise awareness and offer solutions, January has been designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month since 2010.
With the increased risk of trafficking and forced labor, Mercy Investment Services and several other Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility members are engaging a new sector on trafficking prevention and awareness. In December 2020, investor letters were sent to four major fast-food retail companies, including McDonald’s, Restaurant Brands International, Wendy’s, and Yum Brands. The letter requested companies to consider ways they can help prevent trafficking, such as through employee training, posting signage about resources like the National Human Trafficking Hotline in restrooms, and working with their transportation carriers to train drivers. Engaging the fast-food sector is a new component to Mercy’s long history of working with trucking firms, hotels, airlines and hospitality companies on trafficking prevention and training. We invite you to use the following resources to join us in praying for an end to human trafficking.
U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking Resources
United States Conference for Catholic Bishops Human Trafficking Month Toolkit