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Pope decries human trafficking in address to new diplomats

Catholic World News - December 12, 2013

Human trafficking is “a crime against humanity” and “a social wound of our times,” Pope Francis told a group of new diplomatic representatives on December 12.

Speaking to 17 diplomats accredited to the Holy See, the Pope devoted most of his remarks to human trafficking, saying that the practice “affects the most vulnerable people in society: women, children, the disabled, the poorest and those who come from situations of family or social disintegration.”

Human trafficking has become a pervasive problem at a time when millions of people are refugees and migrants, global travel is common, but few safeguards exist to protect the weak. The Pope mourned the many lives ruined, in forced labor or sexual exploitation.

Pleading for effective international action to end the scandal, the Pope told the diplomats: “Together we can and must take action to free the victims of human trafficking and to put an end to this horrible trade.”

Pope Francis was speaking to 16 non-resident ambassadors, who represent their nations at the Holy See but do not have a permanent embassy there; and one special diplomatic representative: Isa Jamil Kassissieh of the Palestinian Authority. The non-resident ambassadors were from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Denmark, Iceland, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malta, NorwayPakistan, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Uganda, and Zambia.

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