Economic hardship and vulnerability of young women to sex trafficking: a challenge to the Catholic Church's theological advocacy in South Africa.
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This research project focuses on sex trafficking of vulnerable young women in quest of economic dignity in South Africa and the Catholic Church’s theological response in combating it. Indeed, the economic hardship and vulnerability of women challenge the Catholic Church’s theological advocacy in the context of sex trafficking of vulnerable young women in South Africa. This research project examines, assesses, analyses and critiques how the Catholic Church’s theological advocacy is challenged and how it can be reshaped. I used the frameworks of Connor (2013), Osmer (2008) and Palm (2012) to address the issue of sex trafficking in the South African context. Connor (2013), a Human Sciences Research Council report (HSRC 2010), Kreston (2012), Mtimkulu (2010) and Pattanaik & Thorbek (2002) have avidly revealed that sex trafficking happens within and outside South Africa. Connor (2013) suggests the ways of combating sex trafficking using the Palermo Protocol that focuses on prevention, protection and prosecution. The framework of Connor (2013) is referred to as the Catholic theological advocacy. The author of this research project analyses that the framework of Connor (2013) which is referred to as Catholic theological advocacy is significant but not effective enough because it does not intertwine the quest for economic dignity of many vulnerable young women with sex trafficking, hence becomes a problem in combating sex trafficking. The author of this research project assesses and examines how the Catholic Church’s theological advocacy can be reshaped. The framework of Osmer helps the author of this project to approach the issue of sex trafficking analytically in order to find the practical ways of reshaping the Catholic Theological advocacy. Osmer (2008:4) has developed a framework for practical theological interpretation in congregations by focussing on four key questions: (1) What is going on in a given context? (2) Why is this going on? (3) What ought to be going on? (4) How might we respond (Osmer 2008:4)? The framework of Palm (2012) provides the concrete practical ways of addressing issues. The author of this research project has used the framework of Palm (2012) in reshaping the Catholic Theological advocacy. And the author of this project provides some recommendations at the end of the research project as the way forward.