Religious orders and Caritas condemn global slavery of human trafficking

Vatican City, 3 December 2007 - The Union of Superiors General and Caritas have issued a joint condemnation of the trafficking in humans as one of the worst violations of human rights and promised to work together to defeat it.

The Unions of Superiors General (USG/UISG) represent more than a million religious men and women worldwide and Caritas Internationalis is one of the largest aid networks with 162 members.

An alliance between religious congregations and Caritas organisations will strengthen advocacy work in favour of trafficked persons and will broaden the range of resources for people engaged at the practical level in helping them.

The alliance will work for the benefit of the victims of trafficking by improving the channels of prevention and assistance accessible to them.

Caritas Internationalis Middle East and North Africa Officer Sebastien Dechamps said, “Human trafficking is a new form of global slavery. It as a criminal act that violates the human rights, dignity and integrity of those enslaved.

“Trafficking is a global phenomenon, and so only acting as a global network can we combat it. We trust that this agreement between Caritas Internationalis and the USG/UISG will result in effective, mutually supportive action against the trafficking in human persons.”

Caritas Internationalis has identified four major areas for action against trafficking which are suited to its work: prevention, assistance, advocacy and networking. Caritas declares its commitment to work in these areas in its report, “The Caritas Internationalis Commitment on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings,” and initiated the ecumenical COATNET network (Christian Organisations Against Trafficking) which has taken a global dimension.

The USG/UISG is committed to bring to this partnership its special skills in education of the public through publications and public meetings, sharing its experience through the formation of field workers, and through pastoral care and rehabilitation of the victims.

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