Pope decries human trafficking

Pope Francis has described human trafficking as “an open wound” on society during a Vatican-backed conference on the issue.

Addressing delegates drawn from law enforcement agencies worldwide, who had gathered in Rome for the two-day conference, April 9 and 10 – Combating Human Trafficking: Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership – the Pontiff expressed his thanks for the delegates’ willingness to work together in tackling trafficking.

“Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ. It is a crime against humanity. The very fact of our being here to combine our efforts means that we want our strategies and areas of expertise to be accompanied and reinforced by the mercy of the Gospel, by closeness to the men and women who are victims of this crime.”

Organised by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and hosted by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, the conference was the second annual gathering against human trafficking at the Vatican.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the country’s State Department will work with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops against human trafficking.

“This partnership, we hope, is going to make it a lot easier for people to be able to share information, share best practices, identify caregivers and advocates, and it will ramp up our capacity around the world to be able to identify victims and get them the help that they need,” Mr Kerry said.