Vatican, Muslims and Anglicans sign alliance to fight trafficking
Agreement promises practical as well as spiritual iniitatives
Despite the best endeavours of so many in so many countries, modern slavery and human trafficking continue to expand. Victims are hidden away: in places of prostitution, in factories and farms, on fishing boats, and illegal establishments, in private homes behind locked doors and in myriad other places, in cities, villages and slums in the world’s richest nations and poorest nations.”
This was one of the opening reflections contained in an agreement to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking by 2020, presented at a press conference in the Holy See today. The agreement was signed by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences on behalf of the Holy See and representatives of the Church of England and Sunni Islam. Significantly, a representative of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University was also present. The University had suspended dialogue with the Vatican in the past.
The Global Freedom Network’s signatories signed a joint declaration underlining that “the physical, economic and sexual exploitation of men, women and children condemns 30 million people to dehumanization and degradation. Every day we let this tragic situation continue is a grievous assault on our common humanity and a shameful affront to the consciences of all peoples.” Global Freedom Network is the name of the initiative launched in collaboration with the Walk Free Foundation.
“Any indifference to those suffering exploitation must cease. Only by activating, all over the world, the ideals of faith and of shared human values can we marshal the spiritual power, the joint effort and the liberating vision to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking from our world and for all time.”
... The agreement that was signed today promises initiatives of a spiritual nature - “prayer, fasting and almsgiving”, a world day of prayer for the victims and for their freedom” and dedicated prayer networks [that] will be formed in all parts of the world” - as well as other more practical ones.
For example: “Action plans for the first year will be developed to engage: “All global faiths to modern slavery-proof their supply chains and investments and to take remedial action if necessary; All global faiths to mobilize their youth sections to support programmes to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking; Families, schools, universities, congregations and institutions to educate on the nature of modern slavery and human trafficking, how to report it and the destructiveness of harmful social attitudes and prejudices and social systems in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking; Government leaders to modern slavery-proof public sector supply chains; 50 major multi-national businesses whose CEOs are people of faith or of goodwill to commit to modern slavery-proof their supply chains; 162 governments to publicly endorse the establishment of the Global Fund to End Slavery, with 30 heads of state publicly endorsing it by the end of 2014; The G20 to condemn modern slavery and human trafficking and adopt an anti-slavery and human trafficking initiative and support the abovementioned Global Fund.”
Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa
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