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October 2020
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Lenten Action Series: Fighting Labor Slavery

As promised in the bulletin, below you will find the material from the five weeks of our Lenten Action Series. This material will remain on this page until June 8, Pentecost Sunday, and the end of the Easter season.

Please review the material or become acquainted with it at your own pace. Think carefully about the implications of labor slavery and commit to reduce your slavery footprint. If what you learn inspires you to action, consider joining us in our efforts to fight trafficking. Contact us at

  • Week One : Determine Your Slavery Footprint
  • Week Two: Slave Labor and Coffee
  • Week Three: Slave Labor and Hand-sewn Soccer Balls
  • Week Four: Abusive Labor Recruiters
  • Week Five: Slave Labor and Electronic Equipment


Lenten Action Series - Week One: Your Slavery Footprint

Welcome. Determine your personal slavery footprint by clicking on SLAVERY FOOTPRINT in the Quick Links box on the right. Then wander through the website on a journey of discovery and action. Follow the various links and:

  • Preview and send a note to at least one company/brand requesting that they hold themselves accountable to keep slave labor out of their supply chain.
  • Sign up to get a detailed breakdown of your slavery footprint.
  • Find out how your slavery footprint was calculated.
  • Invite friends to discover their slavery footprint.

Click on MADE IN A FREE WORLD in the Quick Links box and find the following facts:

  • 1.5 million people are forced to work in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields.
  • Child laborers mine 40% of the gold extracted in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Thousands of people are forced to produce palm oil found in 70% of our cosmetics.
  • Go to the Projects tab at the top and view the Ghana video.
  • Make a donation.

Send us a message to let us know:

  • What your reaction is to the Slavery Footprint web site.
  • That you are committed to lowering your slavery footprint.
  • What you learned that impressed you the most.

Commit to visiting this web page to follow Weeks 2 – 6 of our Lenten Action Series and invite your friends and family to join you. Then join with us to fight human trafficking.

Lenten Action Series, Week Two: Slave Labor and Coffee

This week our focus is on coffee because most of us drink coffee and slave labor is very frequently used in the growing of the coffee beans. We can effectively fight this situation. Learn more by visiting the Quick Links on the right:

  • COFFEE & CHILD SLAVES deals with the use of child labor in coffee production.
  • FAIR TRADE USA explains the fair trade concept and certification. Also look at its list of fair trade coffee products.

Now take action by:

  • Looking in your favorite store to find a coffee product that is Fair Trade certified and has the Fair Trade symbol on its packaging.
  • Try a Fair Trade coffee.
Contact us at to:
  • Identify where you shopped and if they stock fair trade certified coffee.
  • Identify the name(s) of the fair trade certified coffees, if any, that you found.
  • We will use your input to inform others.

Join the WRT to help in our anti-trafficking efforts!


Lenten Action Series, Week Three: Slave Labor and Hand-sewn Soccer Balls

Our journey now takes us to the world of sport and the shocking fact that many hand-sewn soccer balls are made by slaves and many of those slaves are children.

To help you understand why and how this occurs we ask you to read key selections about how soccer balls are made and the concept of a supply chain.

To learn, go to the following Quick Links on the right:

  • MAKING A SOCCER BALL – a short explanation of the process.
  • SLAVERY IN SUPPLY CHAINS – the concept of supply chains and what companies can do to prevent slavery from entering any link in their supply chain.
  • SLAVE LABOR & SOCCER BALLS – a long but worthwhile document from the US Department of Labor that is worth scanning to get a more in-depth understanding of the problem.

If you are a child/teen or the parent of a child/teen who owns a soccer ball, take action by using previous Quick Links to:

  • Identify if the soccer ball is reliably certified Fair Trade or possibly made by slave labor.
  • Use SLAVERY FOOTPRINT to send a message to the ball’s manufacturer to urge them to investigate their supply chain and not to use slave labor.

Now think about what you have learned and what actions you have taken. Contact us at to:

  • Identify which company(s) you contacted about their soccer ball production.
  • Share your ideas about how to rid our schools and neighborhoods of slave-made soccer balls.
  • Join the WRT to help in our anti-trafficking efforts!


Lenten Action Series, Week Four: Abusive Labor Recruiters

We will look at a very specific problem this week – the hundreds of thousands of people coming to work in the U.S. with legitimate visas who are put at greater risk of labor trafficking by unchecked labor recruiters. These abusive recruiters prey on the dreams of workers, tricking them into exploitative jobs and charging them massive fees.

Click on FILIPINO WOMEN in Quick Links on the right to view an example of this problem. As you absorb the enormity of this form of human trafficking, remember that the Philippines is only one of the many countries whose citizens travel to the US with work visas and find themselves trapped in slavery.

The US Congress is considering a bill, H.R. 3344, that would strongly tighten the oversight and regulations that control the type of contracts that labor recruiters can present to people seeking work in the US. It would also establish standards for, and monitoring of the recruiters. Click on H.R. 3344 in Quick Links to read a summary of this bill.

Now take action. Send a message to your legislators in Congress telling them to sponsor and support H.R. 3344 to help end the enslavement of domestic workers in the US. An easy way to do this is to click on SEND A MESSAGE in the Quick Links Box.  Contact us at


Lenten Action Series, Week Five: Slave Labor and Electronic Equipment

If you are reading this paragraph you own or have access to a piece of electronic equipment that was, almost certainly, made with the help of a slave. The manufacture of electronic goods requires a metal called tantalum from an ore called Coltan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, now the largest source of Coltan, it is dug out of the ground by enslaved farmers and children who have been abducted by armed gangs.

What can we do now that we recognize that using our cell phone or lap top supports slavery? Should we refuse to ever upgrade our electronic equipment or even throw out our current collection?

Our answer is no! Instead, honor the slaves who made your electronics by using it to help them never have to work as a slave again! We must find a way to stop the slavery. This will not be an easy task. Consider educating yourself about the production of electronics by:

  • Going to the Quick Links box in the upper right corner of this page. Click on CONFLICT MATERIALS and read about the problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And make sure that you scroll down to view the chart showing companies ranked by their use of conflict minerals.
  • Click on PRODUCTS OF SLAVERY in Quick Links. Look at the map of Africa and click on the lower of the two 5s in a yellow bubble. You will learn more about mined products of slavery in the DRC.
  • Using the information that you found, look at which companies produce the electronic equipment you own.
  • Going to SLAVERY FOOTPRINT and sending a message to each of those companies, asking what they are doing to eliminate slavery in their supply chain.

These steps are a good start but there is much to be done. Commit to keeping pressure on electronics manufacturers to have slave-free supply and production chains. Look for and support efforts that work against this evil of slavery. The WRT commits to doing the same and keeping you informed about what more you can do.  Contact us at


 Members of the Women's Rights Team at the

Stand Against Human Trafficking event in Morristown.




The Women’s Rights Team was born out of the vision of members of the Social Justice Ministry who completed the Just Faith course and wanted to put its principles into action. The team’s mission is to improve the lives of people by fostering social justice for women and children.

The methods used to do this include:
• Identifying specific issues that all team members embrace.
• Raising awareness for the need for social justice by involving others from the community, particularly students and young adults, in activities whenever possible.
• Partnering with other groups to achieve goals.
• Keeping the community informed about the team’s efforts in order to educate them about the need for social justice.
• Publicizing successes to encourage others in their efforts and to encourage them to join the team’s efforts.

CURRENT PROJECT: Trafficking of Women and Children

After discussion, the team decided to focus on human trafficking as its first project. Team members studied the issue and partnered with other anti-trafficking activists, including the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking ( Notices in St. Mary’s weekly bulletin serve to raise awareness of the issue with the congregation. Other awareness and education initiatives are planned for 2014-2015.


The team meets once a month in the Carnevale Center.  All are welcome.  For more information, email






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