Victim of human trafficking praises Vatican conference
By David Kerr
Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace listens as Aux Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark, England speaks.
Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace listens as Aux Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark, England speaks.

.- A young English woman who was forced into a life of prostitution by a human trafficker lauded the Vatican for addressing the issue by hosting a recent conference.

“For me this is really important, this is a real first step to really shape how things can go moving forward especially for the Catholic community so this is an incredible day,” 29-year-old Sophie Hayes told CNA on May 8.

“The Catholic Church has a huge role to play as there are 1.8 billion Catholics across the world,” Hayes added, “which is really pivotal to make sure that with all of their networks and all of their support we can really make this a hostile place for traffickers but also really support the victims of trafficking.” 

The United Nations defines human trafficking as “an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.” They also estimate it to be the second most lucrative criminal enterprise globally after the illegal arms trade.

“In spite of the engagement of the international community and the efforts of part of civil society this very sad phenomenon continues to victimize millions,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in his introductory remarks at Tuesday's conference.

“It is one of the worst forms of human exploitation; it is no less than a contemporary form of slavery.”

The conference was co-organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and the Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

It brought together church leaders, law enforcement officers, diplomats and those who work with trafficking victims.

They also heard from Sophie who, 5 years ago, was lured into prostitution in Italy by an Albanian man she thought was a friend. Six months later she managed to escape back to England where she now runs a charity that highlight the issue and supports victims.

“I think from what we’ve heard today it’s one of the fastest growing crimes globally so it’s extremely common, this is not a story that is unusual or an isolated case,” she said.

The conference also heard from Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark in England who stressed the need to educate people of the dangers posed by traffickers so that everybody knows “the false hopes and the false promises are really what they are – just false.”  

Cardinal Turkson linked the issue of human trafficking to the forthcoming Year of Faith which, he hoped, would “find new ways of changing hearts and minds to make them more receptive to issues of human dignity and respect for the human person.”

Tags: Human trafficking, Human rights

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


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: