2008-02-13 17:22:26

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 level:

“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).


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