Please find attached the address that Pope Francis gave yesterday to a group of new Ambassadors to the Holy See…..
Today I wish to speak to you about an issue that concerns me very much and that is currently threatening the dignity of people: human trafficking……
This is a real form of slavery which unfortunately is increasingly common and concerns every country, even the most developed, affecting the most vulnerable members of society: women and girls, children of both sexes, the disabled, the poor, and those who come from situations of family and social disintegration. In them, in a special way, we Christians recognize the face of Jesus Christ, who identified with the little ones and the needy. Others, who do not belong to a religious faith, share our compassion for their suffering in the name of our common humanity, and are committed to freeing them and soothing their wounds. Together we can and must strive for their freedom in order to put an end to this horrific trade. We are talking of millions of victims of forced labour, slave labour, and human trafficking for the purpose of labour and sexual exploitation. This cannot continue: it is a serious violation of the human rights of the victims and an affront to their dignity, as well as a defeat for the world community. People of goodwill, whether they profess a religion or not, cannot allow these women, these men, these children to be treated as objects, deceived, raped, often sold multiple times, for different purposes, and in the end killed or, at the very least, damaged in body and mind, and finally discarded and abandoned. It’s a disgrace.
Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must join forces to free the victims and stop this increasingly aggressive crime which threatens, in addition to individuals, the founding values of society as well as international security and justice, and the economy, family structure and social life itself.