Over 12 million people are caught up in people trafficking every year – but that number
jumps to 27 million if one counts those entrapped by debt bondage or other forms of
A conference on this modern-day slavery was held in Rome this week,
co-sponsored by the United States Embassy to the Holy See and the Miami-based St.
Thomas University School of Law.
Titled “Building Bridges of Freedom: Public-Private
Partnerships to End Modern-Day Slavery,” the conference brought together delegates
to discuss merging the resources of governments, civil society, the private sector
and faith-based communities in the most effective ways to stop this widespread practice.
the year 2000 we visited cities in Italy and it was a harrowing experience: Shocking
to see our girls on the streets of Italy, half naked, in the cold,” said Sr Patricia
Ebegbulem, a founding member of the Nigeria-based Committee for the Support of the
Dignity of Women (COSUDOW).
“Many of them had been trafficked,” she said.
now works to educate the women of Nigeria to prevent human trafficking before it even
begins. The organization also works with victims who have returned to the country
to re-integrate them back into society.
Listen to Sr Patricia Ebegbulem’s interview
with Kelsea Brennan-Wessels: