04/21/2015, 00.00
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Vatican proposes UN agency to fight human trafficking as a crime against humanity

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences issued the proposal at the end of its plenary meeting. For Academy member Zamagni, “Human trafficking must not only be morally condemned but must be treated legally as a crime against humanity, as the pope repeatedly said”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Human trafficking as a crime against humanity and a United Nations agency dedicated to its eradication are some of the proposals discussed by the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which ended a five-day conference today in the Vatican.

Pope Francis had called for a conference on the issue. If it accepted the proposal, the United Nations could establish the agency after the pope speaks to the General Assembly next September.

In his address to the Pontifical Academy, Stefano Zamagni, an economics professor at the University of Bologna (Italy), said that “what is needed is a body like the World Trade Organisation with the power to enforce protocols” against human trafficking, and its various forms: prostitution, forced labour and illegal organ transplants.

For this purpose, "We brought together academics, researchers, associations, and policy makers to discuss the matter,” Zamagni said. “Human trafficking must not only be morally condemned but must be treated legally as a crime against humanity, as the pope repeatedly said.”

In fact, “This would be a revolutionary decision, because it would upend the current perspective, which sees human trafficking as simply a violation of national laws.”

Should this happen, "we could set up an agency within the UN to fight human trafficking. Without it, such a scourge will not be dealt with seriously.”

What is more, “It is also necessary to combine action on the supply side of the business, against smugglers as well as terrorist or criminal organisations who run the racket, with action on the demand side, i.e. the companies and firms that employ illegal immigrants or run the sex trade.”

“These are fundamental points that the pope and the Holy See will address internationally.”

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