Anti-Human Trafficking Commission

The work of the Anti-Human Trafficking Commission began as a college experience Muriel Rains had in a Sociology class studying about migrant workers in the 1960's. Some years later, there were conferences held by the American Association of University Women where Human-Trafficking was the main topic. When Muriel became a member of Diocesan Council and committees were being set up for the church year, she asked if the Diocese was doing anything about Human-Trafficking, knowing that the Episcopal Church was studying it on a national level. After two reports to Council followed by research work for the Taskforce of three, the committee was born.

At the November 2014 Convention, the Anti-Human Trafficking Action Committee was given policy support of the Diocese to make presentations to deaneries, parishes and other groups on the topic. On November 22, 2014, the committee held a conference of individuals and groups involved in Anti-Trafficking work. The principle speaker was The Reverend Becca Stevens, founder of Magdeline Thistle Farms in Nashville, Tennessee.

At the November 2015 Convention, after several presentations to clerical, deanery parish and other gatherins, the committee became a commission - the Anti-Human Trafficking Commission of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. We are representatives at the Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition, the Chester County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition and the Bucks County Coalition.

As representatives to the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coaltion, we helped plan activites including a sign for the top of the PECO building, SEPTA signs at bus stops at 30th and Market Streets as well as 12th and Market Streets in preparation for the November 2016 Democratic National Convention. We helped man a table at the Convention Center where caucuses were held. The table was a great success. Many conventioneers stopped to pick up information, to tell us what was happening in their states or to ask how they could begin such work.

In October 2016, four members of the AHTC will go to Nashville to participate in workshops in order to learn how to adapt the work of The Thistle Farm to our diocese. We are also sending questionnaires to individual parishes and deaneries to get information about the work being done within these groups and how we can be of service and help in the work already being done.

"If you are neutral in situtations of injustice,
you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
If an elephant has his foot on the tail of a
mouse, and you say that you are neutral,
mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."
- Bishop Desmond Tutu