The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News

Vatican City

Caritas warns of rise in human trafficking amid pandemic

The warning comes ahead of the July 30 commemoration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service

Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service

Updated: July 28, 2020 06:38 PM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Caritas warns of rise in human trafficking amid pandemic

Caritas Internationalis issued a statement July 28 saying insufficient attention was paid on the collateral damage of the ongoing pandemic, especially on migrants and informal workers (Photo: Pixabay)

Share this article :
As governments and world leaders struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic, they must also work harder to protect victims of human trafficking, said the Vatican-based international network of Catholic charities.

Insufficient attention "was paid on the collateral damage of the ongoing pandemic, especially on migrants and informal workers, who are now more exposed to trafficking and exploitation," Caritas Internationalis said in a July 28 joint statement with COATNET, a network of 46 Christian organizations engaged in fighting human trafficking.

The statement was made ahead of the July 30 commemoration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

"Caritas Internationalis and COATNET also call for urgent and targeted measures to support workers in informal sectors such as domestic work, agricultural and construction work, where most vulnerable workers (i.e. undocumented migrants) can be found," it said.

Citing statistics released by the International Labor Organization, Caritas said currently there are "40 million people in our world today" who are victims of human trafficking.

The current health crisis, it added, has only exacerbated the problem "due to lack of housing and job security resulting from government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

"Lack of freedom of movement caused by lockdown and travel restrictions means that human trafficking victims in many countries have less chance of escaping and finding help when they are held in situations against their will," Caritas said.

"Among them, there are many victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Domestic workers face increased risks economically, and also physically and psychologically, as they are even more cut off from society during the pandemic," it said.

Caritas also said restrictive measures have made it difficult for associations and local authorities to identify cases of trafficking as well as an increase in violence against children, particularly online exploitation in homes "with little parental supervision."

"At one point during lockdown in India, for example, 92,000 cases of child abuse were reported to authorities over the course of just 11 days. Children from economically vulnerable families may be also forced on the streets to beg, facing high risk of exploitation," Caritas said.

Aloysius John, Caritas Internationalis' secretary general, said "focused attention must not prevent us from taking care of the people most vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation."

"At this moment of COVID-19, we denounce a preoccupying reality for vulnerable people and increase in risk of trafficking," John said.

The secretary general of Caritas said victims of human trafficking and exploitation "need immediate attention" and called on governments "to provide them with access to justice and to basic services, in particular shelters and hotlines, and also to put in place urgent and targeted measures to support workers in informal sectors."

"We also call institutions and civil society organizations to protect children from abuse and exploitation, also through internet and new media, and we ask all people to be vigilant and to denounce cases of human trafficking and exploitation," John said.

Support UCA News...

UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.

UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.

Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.

As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.

UCA News Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution