On November 9, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave opening remarks during a conference entitled “Practical Solutions to Eradicate Human Trafficking,” sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, the Permanent Missions of Ireland, Liechtenstein, the Philippines, the International Labour Organization, and the Santa Marta Group.
In his remarks, Archbishop Auza situated the fight against human trafficking within the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which insists that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude.” Despite that international commitment, he said, 40 million people are ensnared in modern slavery. He said despite various important international commitments, the number of those enslaved for sexual exploitation, forced labor and organ harvesting continues to skyrocket. These commitments must be made truly effective, he added. He said we must become more practical, even ruthless, in addressing the drivers of human trafficking, particularly addiction to money or to sex; to increase the number and length of programs for rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors; to challenge and assist law enforcement to overcome the widespread practical impunity for traffickers and trafficking networks; and to promote partnerships of solidarity to combat the organized crime and corruption that make trafficking possible and profitable. Our efforts, he concluded, must be commensurate to the challenges we face — and become ever more practical.
The statement can be found here.