The Common Good
March 2009

Freedom Songs

by Joey Ager | March 2009

Eugenia Bonetti, a Cath­olic sister in Rome, is tackling a tough social evil: human trafficking.

Eugenia Bonetti, a Cath­olic sister in Rome, is tackling a tough social evil: human trafficking. Follow­ing a 1993 encounter with a Nigerian woman who had been trafficked into Italy, Sister Bonetti took up the fight against the violent and dehumanizing global trade in sex slaves. “The first girl who introduced me to this world changed my life,” Bonetti, 69, told Inside Catholic. “She ran away from her captors and came to us to ask for help. She was Christian, and asked us to pray. Hear­ing her story, the sufferings she endured, opened to me this world of modern-day slavery.”

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Now her religious order, the Consolata Mis­sionary Sisters, has 250 members working full-time to provide shelter, security, and physical as well as spiritual and psychological care for people caught in the human slave trade. Bonetti also works with nuns in Nigeria to stop trafficking at the source and to help repatriate victims back to their communities. “Pro­sti­tution is not a new phenomenon,” Bonetti told Sojourners, “but what is new is the development of a global and complex trade which exploits the extreme poverty and vulnerability of many women and minors who have emigrated. They have become 21st-century slaves.” —Joey Ager

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