An agreement against modern slavery, signed by the great religions
Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Eradicating modern-day slavery and human trafficking in the world by 2020 is the goal of an agreement announced today at the same time in the Vatican, in Cairo , London and Perth. The agreement, signed so far on behalf of Pope Francis, the great Imam of Al Azhar, the Archbishop of Canterbury and founder of Walk Free Foundation, inaugurated the Global Freedom Network ( GFN ) .
In a joint statement the
signatories of the Global Freedom Network highlight the violent destructive
capacity of modern-day slavery and trafficking in human beings and invite other
Christian Churches and religions of the world to intervene.
The document, presented at the Vatican, states that "modern slavery and human trafficking are crimes against humanity. The physical, economic and sexual exploitation of men, women and children condemns 30 million people to dehumanization and degradation. Every day we let this tragic situation continue is a grievous assault on our common humanity and a shameful affront to the consciences of all peoples".
"Any indifference to those suffering exploitation must cease. We call to action all people of faith and their leaders, all governments and people of goodwill, to join the movement against modern slavery and human trafficking and support the Global Freedom Network".
The Global Freedom Network, the statement continues, "will take up the instruments of faith - prayer, fasting and almsgiving. There will be a world day of prayer for the victims and for their freedom. Everyone of faith and everyone of goodwill will be requested to join in reflection and action. Dedicated prayer networks will be formed in all parts of the world.
Under the agreement, all parties agree to commit to pursuing all avenues and pathways to galvanise global action to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking. Action plans for the first year will be developed to engage:
- All global faiths to modern slavery-proof their supply chains and investments and to take remedial action if necessary
- All global faiths to mobilize their youth sections to support programmes to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking
- Families, schools, universities, congregations and institutions to educate on the nature of modern slavery and human trafficking, how to report it and the destructiveness of harmful social attitudes and prejudices and social systems in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking
- Government leaders to modern slavery-proof public sector supply chains
- 50 major multi-national businesses whose CEOs are people of faith or of goodwill to commit to modern slavery-proof their supply chains
- 162 governments to publicly endorse the establishment of the Global Fund to End Slavery, with 30 heads of state publicly endorsing it by the end of 2014
- The G20 to condemn modern slavery and human trafficking and adopt an anti-slavery and human trafficking initiative and support the abovementioned Global Fund.
The Joint Statement then concludes: "Our world must be freed of these terrible evils and crimes against humanity. Every hand and heart must be joined to bring this freedom to all those who are trapped and suffering. This agreement is a beginning and a pledge - the victims of modern slavery and human trafficking will not be forgotten or ignored: everyone will know their story. We will walk with them to freedom".
In the definition of slavery, the Global Freedom Network refers to a series of international agreements and instruments which affect not only the systematic deprivation of liberty, but also forms of human exploitation, such as forced prostitution, forced labor, the worst forms of child labor child and immediate action for their elimination, child soldiers, the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, debt bondage and forced marriage.