Pope Francis calls for greater effort to combat human trafficking, highlights Church responsibility
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Pope Francis continues to tackle the problem of human trafficking meeting four victims as well a group of Church sisters and law enforcement leaders in a renewed effort to work together to end human trafficking.
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VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis met Thursday with four victims of human trafficking as well as several religious sisters and law enforcement leaders at the Vatican on the topic of human trafficking.
Pope Francis explained, "Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ."
The Pope met with the assorted attendees at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences which was organized by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
Pope Francis called for global cooperation in the fight against human trafficking.
In England, a very useful strategy has developed where Scotland Yard teams with a community of religious sisters to rescue victims of human trafficking. Such victims are often intimidated and will not speak to police, but if housed with the sisters, they often open up to them. The sisters then share what the victims say with the police and the police can then assist in prosecution of the perpetrators.
This collaboration underscores the powerful role of the Church, as a compassionate entity, able to provide transition back to freedom and to assist in dismantling the works of evil, both physical and spiritual.
Pope Francis said of the Church and the efforts of social workers, that they "can and must work together."
During the meeting, victims shared their heart wrenching stories with those assembled. Afterwards, law enforcement officials were invited to speak, as well as the sisters.
The parties involved made a renewed commitment to continue working together and called for more support to expand their successful programs.
Human trafficking is a global scourge with more slavery in the world today than has ever been in the past. Victims are commonly children and women but can include men. Global attention has slowly shifted to the problem, but little has been done to comprehensively address it.
More can and must be done and the Catholic Church is there, all around the world, in position ready to help.
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