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Vatican Seminar on Human Trafficking

November 15th, 2013

The following is taken, with our thanks, from the Stop Trafficking!, the newsletter opposed to human slavery supported by a broad coalition of organizations of Catholic Sisters. 

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Following a wish expressed by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of Social Sciences (PASS) and the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC), organized a seminar entitled, “Trafficking in Human Beings: Modern Slavery. Destitute Peoples and the Message of Jesus Christ”.

The November 2-3, 2013 seminar, held in Vatican City, brought together some seventy delegates from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Guatemala, Ireland, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the USA. The UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo from Nigeria, was among the twenty-two speakers.

The sixty observers in attendance were asked to contribute concrete proposals through which the global Church could better respond to the plight of millions of enslaved peoples.

Pope Francis was directly involved in combating modern day slavery in Buenos Aires, where he actively supported the work of the Fundacion Alameda, an Argentinian organization headed by Gustavo Vera, another of the speakers. The Pope’s first trip after his election was to Lampedusa to pay tribute to the hundreds who had recently died at sea, trying to reach this island half-way between Sicily and Tunisia where many victims of human trafficking end up.

Read more about this conference and efforts to stop human trafficking in the November issue of Stop Trafficking! 

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