"Inspired by our faiths - said Pope Francis before signing - today we have gathered for a historic initiative and a concrete action: to declare that we will work together to eradicate the terrible scourge of modern slavery in all its forms. The physical, economic, sexual and psychological exploitation of men, women and children currently holds millions of people in dehumanizing and humiliating chains. Every human being, man, woman, boy and girl is the image of God, God is love and freedom gifted in interpersonal relationships, therefore every human being is a free person destined to exist for the good of others in equality and fraternity. All people are equal and must be recognized the same freedom and the same dignity. Any relationship that discriminates by failing to respect the fundamental belief that the other person is like me constitutes a crime, an abhorrent crime ".
"For this reason - he added - we declare on behalf of each and every believer of our faiths that modern day slavery, in the form of trafficking in persons, forced labor, prostitution, organ trafficking is a crime against humanity. The victims are all from every condition of life, but most often are found among the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. On their behalf, we call our communities to action, that they reject without reservation the systematic deprivation of individual liberty that results in personal or commercial exploitation, on behalf of these people, we make this declaration".
"Despite the great efforts of many, modern day slavery continues to be an atrocious scourge, present on a large-scale, world over, even under the guise of tourism. This crime 'against humanity' masquerades behind apparently accepted habits, but in reality finds its victims in prostitution, trafficking in persons, forced labor, slave labor, mutilation, the sale of organs, drug use, child labour. It hides behind closed doors, in particular places, on the streets, in cars, in factories, in the countryside, on fishing vessels and in many other parts. It takes place in both cities and in the villages, in the reception centers of the richest and the poorest countries in the world. Moreover, this situation is unfortunately getting worse every day".
"We call to action - he concluded - all people of faith, leaders, governments, businesses, all men and women of good will to give their strong support and join the movement against modern day slavery, in all its forms. "