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Work to eradicate human trafficking, Pope tells judges and prosecutors

June 06, 2016

Pope Francis delivered an unexpected address on June 3 to a Vatican summit on human trafficking and organized crime.

Participants in the June 3-4 summit, hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, included leading UN, American, British, Dutch, and Swedish officials involved in the fight against human trafficking, as well as prominent Italian prosecutors and Mexican judges.

The Pope praised those who work “to eradicate human trafficking and smuggling and the new forms of slavery such as forced labor, prostitution, organ trafficking, the drug trade and organized crime.”

“As my predecessor Benedict XVI said, and I've affirmed it myself on several occasions, these are real crimes against humanity that should be recognized as such by all religious, political and social leaders — and reflected in national and international laws,” the Pope added.

Pope Francis also called upon judges to sense “the importance of their responsibility towards society … Without over-extending a metaphor, we could say that the judge is to justice as the religious leader and the philosopher are to morality, and the ruler — or whichever personalized figure of sovereign power — is to the political.”

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