New York City, N.Y., Nov 25, 2017 / 15:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The international community must join forces to eliminate human trafficking and its root causes, the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations said Tuesday.
“To eradicate trafficking in persons, we must confront all its economic, environmental, political, and ethical causes, but it is particularly important to prevent and end the wars and conflicts that make people especially vulnerable to being trafficked,” Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said in an address this week.
“Wars and violent conflicts have become the biggest driving force of forced human displacement,” he said, noting that traffickers take advantage of the chaos of war to exploit vulnerable people, using them for sexual slavery or forced labor.
One typical consequence of war is a large population of displaced people, who usually become migrants and refugees in other countries, Auza added, which makes it especially important that countries also work to protect these populations.
In recent years, Europe has experienced a refugee crisis at a level unseen since World War II, with millions of people fleeing violence and instability largely in the Middle East, leaving a large number of people, particularly women and children, vulnerable to trafficking. According to reports from The Guardian, the European Union reported more than 15,000 cases of sex trafficking from 2013-2014, though authorities expect the actual number is much higher.