By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has appealed to all men and women of goodwill to take responsibility, denounce injustice and stand firm against the "shameful crime" of human trafficking.
Addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope recalled that Monday, 30 July, is World Day against Trafficking in Persons, promoted by the United Nations.
“This scourge, he said, reduces many men, women and children to slavery”.
It’s aim, he continued, is to exploit them for cheap labour, for the sex trade, for the trade of organs, to force them to beg or to engage in delinquency.
Francis also highlighted the fact that “the routes of migration are also often used by traffickers and exploiters to recruit new victims of trafficking”.
Pope Francis has repeatedly denounced human trafficking, which is believed to claim 40 milliion victims worldwide, calling it a “crime against humanity.”
The Church marks 8 February, the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, as the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. The patron saint of Sudan’s life was a journey from slavery to freedom and faith, and her life story inspires hope in the face of indifference and exploitation.