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.
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.
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.
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.’
the words of Pope Francis, ‘human trafficking is a plague on the body of
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
Please take time
this week to learn more about the issue of human trafficking, and to pray for its end.