UPDATE: A state House committee unanimously passed a bill March 11 that will create an anti-human trafficking council to seek an end to its pervasiveness in Colorado.
The 11-member state Judiciary Committee passed the bill during a late night vote before witnesses and lobbyists at the state Capitol downtown.
House Bill 1273 has gained bi-partisan support in the House and Senate for its effort to raise awareness about Colorado’s reportedly high rate per capita of sex slavery. The bill states it’s a felony to knowingly coerce an adult or child into sexual servitude or commercial sexual activity.
The Colorado Catholic Conference, the lobbying arm of the Church in state, supports the bill and encourages faithful to share with legislators their beliefs about the dignity of the person.
“The Catholic Church believes that human trafficking is a horrific and tragic crime against the basic dignity and rights of the human person,” the conference stated in a release. “Every effort possible must be used to end this crime; we all must work together—Church, state and community—to eliminate the root causes and environments that permit traffickers to flourish.”
The U.S. bishops are outspoken about the tragedy of human trafficking. A day of prayer for survivors and victims was held Feb. 8.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration, spoke on the national prayer day.
“If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference,” the bishop said.
The bill must pass another committee before it goes before the House for a vote.
For more information, visit www.cocatholicconference.org.