Jewish Community Releases Statement of Values on Human Trafficking

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National Council of Jewish Women

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Washington, DC 20036-4206

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Jewish Community Releases Statement of Values on Human Trafficking 

January 11, 2017 — Today, on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) joined 29 national and local Jewish organizations to issue a statement of guiding values on ending human trafficking. Citing the ancient Jewish journey from slavery to freedom, Jews throughout the country commit to supporting policies to protect those vulnerable to trafficking. The upcoming reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as well as other pending federal and state legislation, are key opportunities to provide additional funding for social services that support survivors and address the root causes of trafficking in this country. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman issued the following statement:

“National Council of Jewish Women believes that every human being is created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of the God, and is deserving of dignity and respect. Not only must we uphold the sacred right to bodily autonomy and self-determination, we must ensure that trafficking policy does not re-victimize survivors by treating them as criminals.

“With this statement of values, the Jewish Coalition Against Trafficking — co-convened by NCJW and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights— demonstrates our community’s continued commitment to ending modern-day slavery. It is especially important that the Jewish community directly articulate to our elected officials the need for survivor-led policies that are rooted in survivors’ needs and experiences. Our statement is rooted in a human rights based approach to fighting trafficking and the dismantling of the root causes, including poverty, the exploitation of workers and the demand for cheap goods, and a culture that promotes sexual violence and objectification.

“Additionally, in today’s political climate, it is critical that we as faith leaders ensure Congress does not use anti-trafficking legislation as a vehicle to chip away at reproductive rights or create provisions that allow service providers to opt out of serving trafficking survivors because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, race, or immigration status.

“More than 27 million people around the world are trapped in forced labor, including agricultural labor, commercial sex, domestic work, and debt bondage. Trafficking occurs across the United States, and involves American citizens, foreign nationals, and stateless people. Survivors often find themselves locked up in the criminal justice system or held responsible for crimes committed while trafficked, instead of receiving needed support. The Jewish Coalition Against Trafficking is an umbrella coalition of national Jewish organizations with campaigns to end human trafficking, that have come together to strengthen our collective voices to achieve concrete policy change. For more information on NCJW’s work on human trafficking, please see ncjw.org/trafficking.

The National Council of Jewish Women is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on  and on 

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