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Beara Students Against Trafficking

 

A group of courageous 4th year TY students in Beara Community School, Castletownbere Co. Cork in Ireland have recently completed a very comprehensive YSI (Young Social Innovators) project after they were shocked to learn of the horrors of people trafficking and it’s prevalence around the world but also here in Ireland. They have set out to make as many people aware of this ongoing issue with a view to getting the legislation changed.
Click here to learn more: Beara Students Against Trafficking

Global Freedom Network founded by Catholics, Anglicans, Muslims to End Trafficking

 

Representatives of the Catholic, Anglican and Muslim worlds gathered for the first time ever in the Vatican press office on Monday for the launch of a Global Freedom Network aimed at eradicating human trafficking by the end of the decade. Philippa Hitchen went along to witness this historic event:
The groundbreaking agreement to work closely together across the different faith communities was signed by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo on behalf of Pope Francis. The Argentinian bishop is chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Sciences which brought together a broad coalition of anti-trafficking experts for a workshop last November. He was joined by New Zealand Archbishop David Moxon, director of the Anglican Centre here in Rome and representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See. Also on hand to sign the founding declaration was Dr Mahmoud Azab, representing the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, one of the most important centres of Sunni Islam located in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
The other key figure who put his signature to the document was Australian businessman Andrew Forrest, founder of a philanthropic organisation called the Walk Free Foundation. Set up after Forrest’s daughter travelled to Nepal where children were being caught up in a trafficking for prostitution ring, its aim is to stamp out this modern form of slavery by galvanizing and supporting action at local, national and international level. Planned actions include urging governments to publicly endorse the establishment of the Global Fund to End Slavery and persuading multi-national businesses to commit to eradicating slavery from their supply chains. By mobilizing the world’s major faith communities, this new Network hopes to bring an end by 2020 to what Pope Francis has dared to call a crime against humanity: Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo:
It’s not politically correct to call this modern slavery a crime against humanity but we want to arrive at that in national and international law….”
Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims mark just the beginning of what organisers sincerely hope will expand to include representatives of all other faith communities as well. They’re also aware that much work is already being done to tackle prevention, prosecution and protection of trafficking victims. What’s been missing up until now, says Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, is a joined-up approach to the problem:
“If you look at the work of Catholic, Anglican and other faith missions over the last three or four decades, they have been engaged in the fight against human trafficking…..”

Statistics show some 30 million men, women and children are currently caught in the clutches of human traffickers and that figure is believed by many to be just the tip of the iceberg. Organisers of this Global Freedom Network are hoping to touch the hearts of all believers to help put an end to this exploitation which they call a shameful affront to our common humanity.
Text from page of the Vatican Radio – the voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the world. Click here to learn more and listen to Philippa’s report and interviews: Global Freedom Network
 

The Pope Urges Action Against Human Trafficking

 

Vatican City, 5 March 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a message to the faithful in Brazil on the occasion of the annual Lenten “Fraternity Campaign”, which this year takes on the theme of “Brotherhood and human trafficking”, and whose slogan will be “For freedom Christ has set us free”.

 

“During the next forty days, we will seek to be more aware of the infinite mercy God has given to us and asks us to give to others, especially those most in need: ‘You are free! Go and help your brothers to be free!’. In this sense, and wishing to mobilise Christians and persons of good will in Brazilian society against the social ill of human trafficking, our Brazilian brother bishops propose this year the theme ‘Fraternity and human trafficking’”.

 

“It is not possible to remain indifferent before the knowledge that human beings are bought and sold like goods! I think of the adoption of children for the extraction of their organs, of woman deceived and obliged to prostitute themselves, of workers exploited and denied rights or a voice, and so on. And this is human trafficking. ‘It is precisely on this level that we need to make a good examination of conscience: how many times have we permitted a human being to be seen as an object, to be put on show in order to sell a product or to satisfy an immoral desire? The human person ought never to be sold or bought as if he or she were a commodity. Whoever uses human persons in this way and exploits them, even if indirectly, becomes an accomplice of this injustice’. Moving on to the family level, entering into the home, how often do we see that even there, often there is abuse. Parents who enslave their children, children who enslave their parents; married couples who, forgetting their duty in receiving this gift, exploit one another as if they were products for consumption, disposable products; the elderly ,without a place in society and children and adolescents without a voice. How many attacks to the basic values of the fabric of family life and social coexistence. Yes, there is a need to profoundly examine our consciences. How can one proclaim the joy of Easter, without lending support to those who are denied their freedom on this earth?”.

 

He continues, “Be sure: if I offend the human dignity of others, it is because I have previously divested myself of my own. And why have I done this? For power, fame, material goods … in exchange for my dignity as a a son or daughter of God, whose salvation comes at the price of Christ’s blood on the Cross and is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit who calls inside us, ‘Abba, father!’. Human dignity is the same for all human beings; if I trample that of another, I also trample my own. Christ freed us so that we might live free in freedom! … I hope that Christians and persons of good faith may make efforts to ensure that men, women, young people or children may never more be victims of human trafficking. It is the most effective foundation for re-establishing human dignity and proclaiming Christ’s Gospel in towns and country, because Jesus wishes to sow life in abundance everywhere”, concludes the Holy Father.