Loading
US ambassador: Pope draws global attention to trafficking
U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth F. Hackett speaks with CNA Oct. 25, 2013. Credit: Elise Harris/CNA.
U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth F. Hackett speaks with CNA Oct. 25, 2013. Credit: Elise Harris/CNA.
by Elise Harris
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett has praised the attention Pope Francis is giving to the “scourge” of human trafficking, and spoke of collaborative initiatives aimed at its eradication.

“These days when the Pope speaks on any issue it raises the attention level worldwide, and he has done that specifically with human trafficking calling it a ‘scourge,’” the ambassador told CNA June 27.

“I actually saw the note he wrote to one of the archbishops who heads the Pontifical Academy (of Sciences) saying, ‘What are you doing about this?’ So the Pope has given this special attention.”

Hackett serves as the 10th U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See after his nomination last fall, and spoke regarding the U.S. State Department’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, which was released by the embassy June 20.

The annual report provides an assessment of 188 countries in terms of what they are doing to combat human trafficking in preventative and educational terms, as well as the assistance offered to recovered victims.

“The U.S. government has been interested in this for a long time,” as well as the embassy itself, Hackett said. The two countries collaborated when, in his second week in office, “we convened a meeting with anyone we could find in and around the Vatican who was dealing with the issue of human trafficking and brought them together to share their experiences.”

Hackett noted how the Pontifical Council of Sciences has organized two meetings in the last six months to address the issue with international law enforcement officials. The embassy has also partnered with both the Global Freedom Network and Talitha Kum.

Talitha Kum is a group of women religious who collaborate to fight human trafficking. The U.S. embassy to the Holy See recently partnered with them in their most recent campaign against trafficking for the World Cup, entitled “Play for Life, against Human Trafficking.”

Hackett also noted how the embassy is working with the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to “beef up their work on human trafficking in the United States.”

“Even in the United States we’re still faced with those kind of issues. We’re not above it,” the ambassador admitted. “Prostitution, moving of people for forced labor, all exists within the United States as well as the rest of the world.”

Referring to how the report identified the trafficking of persons onto fishing vessels as a growing phenomenon being uncovered, Hackett stated that “It’s like something right out of the 18th century.”

“People are taken on board boats, their passports are taken and they work on those boats virtually as slaves,” he explained, observing how the Vatican organization the Apostleship of the Sea is putting forth great efforts “to work on that particular issue.”

There is a growing danger of trafficking in war and conflict zones due to the increased numbers of persons fleeing violence, paricularly in Syria and Iraq, Hackett said.

A conflit zone “is fertile ground,” he said, because “when the situation is de-stabilized that’s when bad things happen.”

Hackett affirmed that the embassy will be continue to be involved in fighting sex trafficking. A third international meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is already slated to take place between Vatican and civil law enforcement officials.

“We have great hopes that it will continue to raise the attention level worldwide to this scourge and encourage governments and other organizations to do more to eliminate this terrible evil.”

Tags: Human trafficking, Pope Francis, U.S. Embassy to the Holy See

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
24

Liturgical Calendar

October 24, 2014

Friday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Gospel
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 1-6
Gospel:: Lk 12: 54-59

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/24/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Homily
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14