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Pope seeks more effective action against human trafficking

April 03, 2017

Pope Francis lamented that the problem of human trafficking is becoming more acute, in a message to a conference on that topic sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Human trafficking is “a form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, and an atrocious scourge,” the Pope said in his statement. He remarked that today there are “new forms of slavery imposed by criminal organizations.”

Pope Francis observed that the problem continues to spread, and “evidence brings one to doubt the real commitment of some important players” to the effort to stamp it out.

In particular, he said, “It should be acknowledged that very little has been done to address the ‘why’ of many young people being tricked or sold into trafficking and slavery.” He conceded that the nature of the crime makes it difficult to prosecute traffickers, but said that more should be done to prosecute the “consumers” who are “the real authors responsible for such heinous crimes.”

The Pope’s message to the conference, taking place this week in Vienna, was delivered by Father Michael Czerny, a Jesuit official of the Vatican’s new dicastery for Integral Human Development.

 
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