Pope: Denounce and combat trafficking in human beings, a hidden evil
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – There is an ‘urgent’ need to report and combat "trafficking in human beings" this new evil that the globalized world wants to hide because it is scandalous and politically incorrect". New laws need to be found "to ensure the traffickers meet with justice and their unjust gains are reused for the rehabilitation of their victims "; make it clear to the civil authorities "gravity of this tragedy, which is a regression for humanity." These are some of the tasks which Pope Francis today urged the participants in the Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences to take up. The Plenary was held April 17 to 21 on the theme "Human trafficking: issues beyond criminalization".
In his speech, the Pope recalled that the abolition of the scourge of slavery was "a direct result of the message of freedom brought to the world by Christ in his fullness of grace, truth and love, with his program of the Beatitudes." Saints contributed to this abolition - the Pope cited St Peter Claver and St. John of Matha - and "many men and women of good will who do not identify with a religion, but are committed to improving the human condition."
“Unfortunately - continued the Pope - in a global economic system dominated by profit, new forms of slavery have developed which are in some ways worse and more inhumane than those of the past. Thus now more than ever, following the Lord’s message of redemption, we are called to denounce them and fight them. First, we have to raise awareness of this new evil that the globalized world wants to hide because it is scandalous and politically incorrect’. Nobody likes to admit that in their city, region or nation, there are new forms of slavery, while we know that this plague affects almost all countries. "
These "serious crimes" include human trafficking, forced labor, prostitution, organ trade, drugs. "National and international legislation” is urgently required, “in order to ensure the traffickers meet with justice and their unjust gains are reused for the rehabilitation of their victims. Adequate modalities of punishment must be found for those who are complicit in this inhumane market. We are called to improve the path of redemption and social inclusion of the victims, also by updating regulations on asylum. Awareness must be raised among civil authorities of the seriousness of this tragedy, which is a regression of humanity.
Francis recalled that this challenging work is inspired by the Gospel, "a guide for anyone who is at the service of the civilization of love, where the Beatitudes have a social resonance, where there is a real inclusion of the least among us. We must build the earthly city in the light of the Beatitudes, and so journey towards heaven in the company of the little ones and the least”. Thus we should not forget that "the Protocol" by which we will be judged at the end of life will be the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew: "In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me", says the Lord (cf. Mt 25:40). "