African and European bishops denounce “new slaveries” that plague Africa

.- In a press release issued Tuesday, the bishops of Africa and Europe have called for more attention to be paid “to the new forms of slavery that are sometimes worse than the old treatment of slaves.”

After a seminar entitled “I know the suffering of my people: slavery and new slaveries” in Cape Coast, Ghana, the bishops of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe, Africa and Madagascar, said, “The new forms of slavery (human trafficking, forced labor, child soldiers, etc.) are due to the enormous economic differences between rich and poor countries, between the rich and the poor in each society.”

Together with representatives of the Holy See and delegates of Catholic humanitarian agencies, the bishops affirmed that “in order to reduce these differences,” there is a need to “achieve a new international economic order that guarantees a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources,” but above all that “an end be put to the desire to dominate others and to the culture of slavery and servitude.”
 
According to the SIR news agency, “The seminar touched upon the issue of immigration and the possibility of promoting a culture of life and the family.  They also discussed some issues that impede development in Africa.”

Among the challenges that exist, the bishops pointed to “the unjust system of commerce between Africa and the rest of the world, debt and the need for it to be cancelled by the industrialized world, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labor, forced prostitution, child soldiers and children on the streets.”

Faced with these challenges, the bishops encouraged a “culture of respect for human rights,” underscoring the roll of the Catholic Church in the “pastoral care of immigrants” and in “their duty to defend the human person.”

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