Save The Date: October 9, 2024. Annual Gathering of Ignite Peace.

Shifting our Work on Human Trafficking

By Samantha Searls, Program Manager

Beginning February 2023, IJPC will no longer offer human trafficking-specific programming. Through evaluation and research as part of strategic planning, we plan to address human trafficking by focusing our efforts on systems of injustice that allow trafficking to happen in the first place. In the coming weeks we’ll share more about how this fits into our overall strategic plan; for now, we want you to know about these current changes.

If you’re one of the 2,670 people who have attended an IJPC presentation on human trafficking, you know that traffickers take advantage of people who are made vulnerable by society. Perhaps their families are struggling to make ends meet, or they are someone who has been cast out of their family because they are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Maybe they’re subject to an abusive employer who controls their work visa, or they’ve lost everything in a natural disaster.

If we truly want to end human trafficking once and for all, we need to address the root causes of vulnerability. Moving forward, IJPC’s work will do just that: organize to change systems of inequality and violence so that less people are victimized by those who wish to do them harm.

In my role as the manager of the human trafficking program, I am extremely proud of the work we’ve done over the past few years.

None of this would have been possible without the leadership of the Sisters Against Trafficking, including Sr. Joan Krimm SNDdeN, Sr. Therese DelGenio SNDdeN, Sr. Karen Hartman, SFP and many more. They saw a need in the community and took it upon themselves to intervene and ended up creating the foundation of IJPC’s human trafficking program. 

I am also grateful for the partnership of Erin Meyer and everyone at the End Slavery Cincinnati anti-human trafficking coalition. Thank you for embracing IJPC and our vision of systemic change. I look forward to continuing to work with you on these bigger, systemic issues.

If you haven’t checked out our Greater Cincinnati Anti-Human Trafficking Volunteer Guide, take a moment to figure out where you fit in. We’re going to need everyone- from the individuals who volunteer, to the social workers who assist survivors, to the changemakers who join us in calling out systems of oppression. 

I am extremely grateful for my time working on this issue, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.