Asia shares
world-wide shame

We are doing a series on human trafficking

In an address in 2013, Pope Francis said, “the ‘trade in people’ is a vile activity, a disgrace to our societies that claim to be civilized!”

Human trafficking entraps men and women and even boys and girls in a form of slavery that is a transnational scourge. People are objects of trade for forced labor, sexual slavery, forced sexual exploitation, “organ harvesting” for transplant surgery, and being “mules” to carry illegal drugs. It has even been reported that men are being trafficked to Ukraine to fight and die for Russia.

Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drug- and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.

It is impossible to compile exact statistics but estimates of the number of trafficked people exceed 20 million worldwide, with some estimates near 30 million. In 2019, the United Nations reported that 30 percent of victims are children under the age of 18.

Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Poverty makes people especially vulnerable. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.

The problem, however, is not a matter of statistics or geography. The men and women, boys and girls abducted or otherwise forced to become commodities are individuals, not numbers. Christians know that they are our sisters and brothers.

Knowing that, Christians around the world struggle against the sin of trafficking and try to bring freedom, justice, healing and hope to its victims. Christian women, and especially Sisters, are leaders in these efforts.

In their latest series of reports, Asia shares worldwide shame, UCAN reporters will introduce us to the problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”

William Grimm

William J. Grimm
UCA News

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