The Maryland Catholic Conference offers this testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 102. The Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington, which together encompass over one million Marylanders.
HB 102 establishes the Anne Arundel County Human Trafficking Awareness Pilot Program, which will require the county’s Board of Education to provide awareness and training for all school-based personnel on human trafficking. The program will be implemented during the 2018—2019 academic year.
The Maryland Catholic Conference supports HB 102 because it educates end empowers educators to recognize and help human trafficking victims. The Church’s social teaching forbids activities that lead to human beings being bought and sold like merchandise. Human trafficking – including both sex trafficking and labor trafficking – violates the dignity of all parties involved, but especially its victims. The Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for policies that weaken the trafficking economy, support its victims, and increase awareness.
It is for these reasons that the Maryland Catholic Conference respectfully urges a favorable report for HB 102. Thank you for your consideration.