Vatican Says Poverty, Inequality Root Causes of Human Trafficking
(13 Feb 08 - RV ) On Wednesday Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Secretary of the Pontifical
Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, addressed an international
forum against human trafficking, gathered in Vienna Austria The Archbishop said:
“human trafficking, is a multidimensional problem, and one of the most shameful phenomena
of our era. It is a dreadful offence against human dignity” He added that “poverty,
as well as the lack of opportunities often pushes people to look for a better future
despite the related risks, making them extremely vulnerable to trafficking”.
Focusing on the scourge of exploitation of women and children, the principal victims
of the trade in human beings, Archbishop Marchetto pointed to the numerous initiatives
of the Catholic Church across the world to combat the phenomenon at a grass roots
“all efforts to tackle criminal activities and to protect the victims
of people involved in trafficking should include “both men and women and place
human rights at the centre of all strategies”. The demand side of sexual exploitation,
“‘customers’ - ordinary men: young men, husbands and fathers -, also needs to be
addressed; this requires a better knowledge of motives in order to address the reasons
why women are misused”. A similar attitude should be applied to other forms of
trafficking: for example, illicit forms of subcontracting activities that profit from
exploitative labour conditions.
“We have to admit that easy solutions do
not exist”, added the Archbishop “but the introduction of preventive measures such
as, on the one hand, awareness and consciousness raising and, on the other, addressing
the root causes of the phenomenon, among which the macroeconomic situation certainly
should not be overlooked”.
Concluding, Archbishop Marchetto quoted Pope Benedict
XVI’s recent Encyclical on hope: “The true measure of humanity is essentially determined
in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual
and for society” (Encyclical Letter Spe salvi, No. 38).