Human trafficking at all time high says top British Catholic

Human trafficking at all time high says top British Catholic

Human trafficking

Britain’s most senior Catholic said Friday that there have “never been so many victims of human trafficking” at a Vatican conference aimed at tackling the problem.

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Santa Marta anti-trafficking group, said: “We estimate there are 42 million victims worldwide.”

“What struck me particularly was the extent of modern day slavery on the seas,” Nichols said.

“There are around 4.4 million fishing vessels in the world, and on most of those or many of those, there will be people in enslaved labor.”

“We ask you Holy Father to urge financial and business institutions to do all they can to eliminate slavery and its profits from their transactions,” said the group.

During the audience, the pope said that “these modern forms of slavery are much more widespread than one can imagine, including, to our great shame, within the most prosperous of our societies”. — Agence France-Presse Full Story

 

Human trafficking and slavery

Human slavery has reached an all-time high after ensnaring around 42 million people, said Cardinal Vincent Nichols after two days of meetings in the Vatican to discuss global efforts to combat the scourge.

“Our group has had a hard look at the dark faces of globalisation – the scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery,” Cardinal Nichols told Pope Francis at the conclusion of their gathering which took place at the Casino Pio IV, a villa in the Vatican gardens.

“This is a crime whose victims are often invisible and invisible to our normal eye, and therefore only slowly is the reality of this – and the extent of it – becoming apparent,” Cardinal Nichols explained to The Tablet afterwards.

In his speech to the Santa Marta Group, Francis said modern slavery had become more “widespread than previously imagined” including in the “most prosperous of our societies”. He said the focus on preventing the crime must focus on new technology but also “models of economic growth that privilege profit over persons”. Full Story

 

Modern slavery and human trafficking is far more prevalent than law enforcement previously thought, with a recent crackdown lifting the lid on the “shocking” scale of the crime and potentially tens of thousands of victims in the UK, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

Will Kerr, the NCA’s director of vulnerabilities, said the figures were far higher than those identified by the system set up by the government to identify victims of trafficking, which stood at abut 3,800 in 2016.

“It’s likely in the tens of thousands,” Kerr said. “The more we look for modern slavery the more we find evidence of the widespread abuse of the vulnerable. The growing body of evidence we are collecting points to the scale being far larger than anyone had previously thought.”

There has been a wide range of cases uncovered, from a Romanian organised crime gang making €5m (£4.5m) advertising prostitutes online and laundering the proceeds, to a 12-year-old girl being trafficked into the UK to take children to school.

Victims are predominantly from eastern Europe, Vietnam and Nigeria, with a roughly equal balance between men and women, the NCA said. There were currently more than 300 live policing operations targeting modern slavery in the UK, it added. Full Story

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