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Human trafficking: faith-based organisations, “this crime against humanity needs to be addressed together”

Victims of human trafficking are tens of millions worldwide, but convictions of human traffickers are fewer than 10,000. Forced labour and sexual exploitation generate US$ 150 billion in revenue each year. “Trafficking in persons is a crime against humanity, an open wound in our world that needs to be healed and addressed effectively together”. A global network of faith-based organisations said this in a statement released to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July. The organisations make a series of proposals and call on governments and civil society to “intensify their efforts to address this crime”. They also urge governments to ensure “safe, legal and responsible migration pathways” allowing migrants and refugees who are victims of trafficking to travel across borders; “proper systems to protect people at risk of being trafficked”; the granting of “humanitarian long term residency permits” to protect them; training for those who work in the identification of trafficked persons; and “investigation on human trafficking based on intelligence gathering rather than on the witness based approach”. They also call for a strengthening of the initiatives that seek to support victims, “especially in the border regions and refugee camps”, and for prevention activities and educational programs to be organized in refugee camps to advise migrants against the dangers of human trafficking and on how to protect themselves. The network includes: Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans; Caritas Internationalis; Christian Organizations Against Trafficking in Human Beings; Comisión contra la trata de personas CLAR (Confederación latinoamericana de religiosos y religiosas); Dominicans for Justice and Peace; Franciscan International; Jesuit Refugee Service; Mercy International; RENATE –Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation; Talitha Kum – The Worldwide Network of Religious Life against Trafficking in Persons; UISG – Unione Internazionale delle Superiore Generali; UISG-USG Anti-Trafficking Working Group; UNANIMA International; VIVAT International; and WUCWO – The World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations.

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