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World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - 30 July 2016

30 July 2016 marks the third World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The General Assembly of the United Nations declared that such a day was necessary to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.


Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. According to the UN, it is estimated that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation.


Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Slavery, in both its ancient and modern forms, is not only shameful, it is as the abolitionist John Wesley said ‘the execrable sum of all villanies,’ and has no place in our world.


In instituting the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, ‘Every country must join together to overcome this transnational threat by supporting and protecting victims while pursuing and prosecuting the criminals. On the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, let us resolve to act as one in the name of justice and dignity for all.’


In the words of Pope Francis, ‘human trafficking is a plague on the body of contemporary humanity.’


In our region, Australian Catholic Religious Against the Trafficking of Humans (ACRATH) is committed to working together towards the elimination of human trafficking. While its focus is in Australia and the Asia Pacific region, its members' commitment to ending the trafficking of human persons extends to wherever it takes across the world. To find out more about ACRATH, including what they do, and how to get involved, click here.
There is also the work of Mercy International Association, an organisation of the leaders of Mercy Congregations, Institutes and Federations throughout the world, founded to serve the Sisters of Mercy, their associates and colleagues in ministry. Since the inception of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Mercy International Association has highlighted this important issue in its Mercy eNews. In preparation for this year's commemoration, the human trafficking section of its website has been updated with many detailed reports and links. The latest edition of Mercy eNews can be viewed here.
Please take time this week to learn more about the issue of human trafficking, and to pray for its end.



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