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  October 2019  
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‘Trafficking is a Crime Against Humanity,’ Decries Pope Francis

April 11, 2019. Reminds Trafficking ‘Constitutes an Unjustifiable Violation of the Freedom and Dignity of the Victim’

Human trafficking is a crime against humanity, which treating others as commodities, seriously damages the whole human family, tearing apart the Body of Christ…

Pope Francis stressed this to participants of the International Conference on the Trafficking in Persons: ‘A wound on the body of contemporary humanity’, organized by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (8-11 April, Fraterna Domus, Sacrofano) on the occasion of the concluding session.

“Human trafficking is one of the most dramatic manifestations of commercialization,” Pope Francis decried, stating that in its many forms, it “constitutes a wound ‘in the body of contemporary humanity’, a profound scourge in the humanity of those who suffer it and those who carry it out.”

“Indeed, trafficking disfigures the humanity of the victim, offending his freedom and dignity,” he said, adding: “At the same time, it dehumanizes those who perform it, denying them access to ‘life in abundance.'”

Trafficking, Francis highlighted, seriously damages humanity as a whole, tearing apart the human family and the Body of Christ.

Unjustifiable Violation

“Trafficking,” the Pontiff decried, “constitutes an unjustifiable violation of the freedom and dignity of the victims, constitutive dimensions of the human being wanted and created by God.”

“For this reason,” he pointed out, “it is to be considered a crime against humanity.”

Those who are guilty of this crime, Francis said, cause damage not only to others but also to themselves.

The Pontiff reminded that all actions that aim to restore and promote our humanity and that of others, are in line with the mission of the Church, “as a continuation of the saving mission of Jesus Christ.”

“Much has been done and is being done, but much remains to be done,” he said.

To make its action more adequate and effective, Francis noted, the Church must know how to appropriately work together with social and political actors, along with of course working together at all levels within the Church itself.

Francis thanked those before him for what they are already doing on behalf of so many of our brothers and sisters, “innocent victims of the commodification of the human person,” and encouraging them “to persevere in this mission, often risky and anonymous.”

“Through the intercession of Saint Josephine Bakhita, reduced to slavery as a child, sold and bought, but then liberated and “flourished” in fullness as God’s daughter,” Pope Francis concluded saying, “I invoke abundant blessings on all of you and on those who are committed to the fight against trafficking.”

The Pontiff assured them of his prayers and reminded them to pray for him.