It’s perfect timing to share the articles linked below, as Easter just occurred and this event happened a few days ago. With support from the U.S. government, the Vatican has declared human trafficking as a “crime against humanity”. Usage of the term “crime against humanity” reminded me of the International Law & Human Rights class I took last semester, and how the sound of it elevated the importance of human trafficking. The Vatican has recognized the international influence of human trafficking and its connection to other global issues; it has partnered with a leading Muslim institution and the Anglican Communion to end trafficking by 2020. Creation of that agreement produced the Global Freedom Network, which is an “open association” of various religious leaders who wish to eradicate human trafficking.
I have yet to delve deeper into the history and mission of the Global Freedom Network; but so far, I’m liking the involvement of the Catholic Church and other faith groups to fight the injustices of human trafficking. Human trafficking is an international issue, but I think that now with the involvement of religious/faith groups, people and organizations around the world will be more united and have a more streamlined approach to tackling human trafficking. Furthermore, the involvement of Pope Francis not only sheds light 0n the issue, but also popularity and endorsement since he is an internationally acclaimed and well-liked person around the world. I am quite pleased with USA’s Secretary of State John Kerry’s round-about mention of male trafficking in his Boston Globe piece: “a boy forced to sell himself on the street, or a man abused on a fishing boat.” Kerry should have made the distinction that trafficking explicitly occurs when victims are taken across borders, since he only focused on the aspect of modern slavery. A much clearer explanation could have been made in his article to connect slavery with human trafficking; but I’ll save that rant for another blog post.