January marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Thursday, January 14th is Jewish Community Day of Action to #EndHumanTrafficking. In 2014 the National Human Trafficking hot line received over 21,000 calls reporting suspected human trafficking yet, the Department of Justice brought just 208 federal human trafficking prosecutions. Within the U.S. women, men, teenagers, and children (both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals) can fall prey to traffickers.
Over 40 years ago Congress passed the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) creating programs and services that help runaway and homeless youth gain stability, reconnect with their families, and prevent them from becoming chronically homeless. Last year’s RHYA reauthorization, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (S.262), included street outreach programs to help build relationships and provide for vital services; temporary housing and transitional living, including education, job preparation, and health services; and funds for a national study to collect additional data on the needs of runaway and homeless youth. For the first time, the bill also included civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Research has shown that upwards of 40% of all American homeless youth identify as LGBT and are at increased risk for sex trafficking.
Join JCPA, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Hadassah, The Jewish Federations of North America, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Jewish Women International, Project Kesher, The Workmen’s Circle and Association for Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies for Jewish Community day to #EndHumanTrafficking.
Take action! Write your Senators and tell them to ensure the passage of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act!
See the Jewish Community Day of Action to #EndHumanTrafficking social media kit and resources here.