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Pope Francis

Pope Francis: No people is criminal and no religion is terrorist

February 17, 2017. Pope Francis has sent an important message to the Meetings of Popular Movements that is taking place in Modesto (California). The pope denounces the "moral blindness of this indifference”: "under the guise of what is politically correct or ideologically fashionable, one looks at those who suffer without touching them. But they are televised live; they are talked about in euphemisms and with apparent tolerance, but nothing is done systematically to heal the social wounds or to confront the structures that leave so many brothers and sisters by the wayside”.
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The government of the Order of Malta will elect the successor of the Grand Master in April

February 15, 2017. On April 29, the Council Complete of State, the Order’s constitutional body, will elect the next Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta (or, as provided for in the Constitution, a Lieutenant of the Grand Master, to hold office for a year).
Pope Francis

Pope names a Special Envoy for Medjugorje

< style> February 11, 2017. Pope Francis has asked Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as Special Envoy of the Holy See. According< g> the Vatican, "the mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.

Vatican provides support for ecumenical group that aids trafficking victims

2014-04-12

Pope Francis has made clear his stance on human traffickers, denouncing them as "merchants in human flesh.”

POPE FRANCIS (January 20, 2014)
"I would like to thank those who work with migrants, who welcome them and accompany them in their difficult moments, to defend them against those whom Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini called 'the merchants in human flesh,' who want to enslave the migrants.”

It's hard to come up with statistics, and the total numbers of trafficking victims. However, it is possible to talk about a rise in cases, in large part due to poor living conditions in impoverished countries. 

For over 15 years, COATNET, a group linked to Caritas Internationalis, assists and guides victims emerging from this nightmare.

OLGA ZHYVYTSYA
Organizer, COATNET
"We work to raise awareness. For example, one of our partners, Caritas Armenia, has an awareness campaign in schools to talk about trafficking. Other assistance our network provides is to find refuge for victims. We also provide counseling, and legal aid.”

COATNET is an ecumenical network made up of 37 Christian groups. Its founders felt that if criminal groups establish networks among themselves, so must the people that fight against this crime.

MARTINA LIEBSCH
International Policy Director, Caritas
"There were many groups active in fighting against this, but they didn't know each other. When victims from Eastern Europe began arriving, they needed to be sent to reliable groups to help them. That's where the idea came from. There were many Christian groups helping out, even though not all of them are Catholic. That's why we said: 'Why not form a network? If criminals work in networks, we should also form our own network to take on these crimes.'”

However, this crime has many different aspects. COATNET said one of the fastest growing forms of human trafficking is forced labor, fueled by the global economic crisis.

MARTINA LIEBSCH
International Policy Director, Caritas
"According to the International Labor Organization, this is one of the least talked about topics, and a phenomenon seen all around the world, and which has grown because of the economic crisis.”

COATNET has called on governments for greater commitment to fighting human trafficking. They also push for the full application of laws to protect victims and to punish the criminals that benefit from the suffering of others. 


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