“Human trafficking is a‎ crime against humanity.” “Whatever the intention of such exploitation, whether to abuse the body of a person, or to annihilate his or her personality and individual freedom, or to trample upon his or her human dignity,‎ there can never be justification or excuse for such disregard of justice and of human rights!” Msgr. Janusz Urbańczyk, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations in Vienna, used the strong words to condemn the practice on Monday in an address to the ‎15th  conference of the ‘Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons’, ‎convoked by the Organization for Security ‎and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

He said the Holy See and Pope Francis have been observing with deep concern, the spread of every form of exploitation and slavery of human beings.  He said that the Pope has noted that despite the international community’s numerous measures and agreement to put an end to slavery in all its forms, millions of children, women and men of all ages are deprived of freedom and are forced to live in conditions akin to slavery.  Expressing particularly the Pontiff’s concern for the deplorable living conditions of many migrants, Msgr. Urbańczyk said, “The need to safeguard and defend the victims becomes more urgent than ever, whether by prevention or by providing welfare.”   He said, “There is a need to find meaningful solutions to the problems of poverty, to conflicts and post-conflict situations and to the inequalities that foment trafficking.”   He point out that the Catholic Church through its vast network of structures and persons “is committed in many corners of the world to accommodating and defending potential and actual victims of trafficking or of other forms of exploitation.

(Radio Vaticana)