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Prelate: human traffickers responsible for Mediterranean refugee deaths

October 07, 2013

The prelate who oversees the Church in part of the Horn of Africa has told the Fides news agency that many of the refugees who are perishing in their Mediterranean voyages from Africa to Europe are victims of human trafficking.

Horrified by the news that over 100 immigrants died when their ship caught fire in the Mediterranean Sea off the island of Lampedusa, Pope Francis said recently that the repeated tragedies involving immigrants are a “disgrace” that must be stopped. Most of the victims of the recent fire were from the Horn of Africa.

“Organizations of human traffickers which attract potential migrants and refugees should be put under immediate control,” said Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibouti. “Migrants have their illusion of finding the earthly paradise in Yemen, in Italy, or in Europe, which is not true. [It is] an illusion which is encouraged by the organization of traffickers who embark these people on extremely dangerous means of transport.”

“We need to encourage the development of respect for human rights in these countries because migrants also aspire to this,” he added. “In the short term one should immediately try to put under control human trafficking organizations, which are a real plague and are responsible for so many deaths.”


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 07, 2013 5:39 PM ET USA

    "Pope Francis said recently that the repeated tragedies involving immigrants are a “disgrace” that must be stopped." There is a "pric-tag" for this, as there is for so many other things, "suffering," alms and prayer... But "who" is willing to pay it? Padre Pio pray for us! JP