Pope Calls for Anti-Human Trafficking Meeting


CISA 25 yearsVatican City, Vatican – CISA N0 074 – August 23, 2013
Vatican experts will gather this coming November with the aim of better tackling the growing human trafficking scourge after a request made by Pope Francis.
“We must be grateful to Pope Francis for having identified one of the most important social dramas of our time and that he has had enough trust in our Catholic institutions to ask us to arrange this working group,” said Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The bishop’s academy along with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations will meet to discuss a Vatican action plan to help combat what is often referred to as the modern slave trade.
“Trafficking in human beings is a terrible offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights,” Bishop Sánchez Sorondo told Vatican Radio on August 22. “In this century, it acts as a catalyst in the creation of criminal assets.”
The group will meet at the Vatican City’s Casina Pio IV, home of both the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Bishop Sánchez Sorondo observed that the United Nations has begun to be aware of this growing crime “only in 2000,” together with the effects of globalization.
“The alarming increase in the trade in human beings is one of the pressing economic, social and political risks associated with the process of globalization,” he said. “It’s a serious threat to the security of individual nations and a question of international justice.”
According to CNA, a 2012 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on human trafficking says around 20.9 million victims are forced into labour globally. Each year, about two million people are victims of sex trafficking, 60 percent of whom are girls. The practice is not limited to poor and underdeveloped areas, but extends to all world regions.

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