Cut off the supply, says the Most Rev. Joseph D’Souza, and organizations can begin to break centuries’ worth of generational curses and cycles that fuel trafficking in India.
D’Souza, a justice and peace campaigner, civil rights advocate, interfaith peacemaker and Christian theologian, says half the world’s trafficking victims are in India.
“We now believe we have a model that can unravel this and deal with this,” D’Souza tells the “Charisma News” podcast as part of “The Truth About Human Trafficking” Series.
D’Souza is the founder and international president of Dignity Freedom Network, a multinational advocacy and humanitarian aid alliance dedicated to restoring human dignity to the poor, marginalized and outcasts of South Asia. Since its founding in 2001, the network has impacted an estimated 14 million people through its educational, anti-human trafficking, health care and economic development initiatives.
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In the last 20 years, D’Souza estimates his network has economically empowered more than 200,000 women and prevented them entering into bonded slavery and temple prostitution. Dignity Freedom Network works primarily with the “untouchables,” the lowest caste in India.
Bonded slavery is another form of trafficking by which men and women are forced into labor to pay off their debts, but the interest rates skyrocket, and they are slaves to the creditors.
D’Souza says their work is unapologetically Christian fueled by a desire for righteousness and justice.
“Jesus loves unconditionally. We cannot enter into those communities with an agenda,” D’Souza says. “It’s not that we don’t want people to follow Jesus. We want them to love Jesus as we do, but our agenda for entering into this community is we want to fight this evil. We want to fight this injustice because we are Jesus people. And as we lift Jesus up among the communities and across the nation, I think everybody knows now it’s attracting a lot of people to Jesus Christ.”
Listen to the podcast to hear how his ministries work for justice for temple prostitutes, trafficking victims, bonded slaves and more.