It's estimated that over 36 million people around the globe, live under some type of slavery, most commonly, forced prostitution or forced labor.
Religious leaders of different faiths, came together in the Vatican to join forces and stop it. In fact, they set a symbolic deadline of six years to see significant results.
"We hereby declare on behalf of each and every one of our faiths, that modern slavery, be it human trafficking, forced labor, prostitution or the sale of organs, is a crime against humanity. The victims are from all walks of life, but usually it affects the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.”
REV. JUSTIN WELBY
Archbishop of Canterbury
"At a time when faiths are seen wrongly as a cause of conflict it is a sign of real hope that today global faith leaders have together committed themselves publicly to the battle to end modern slavery.”
VENERABLE BHIKKHUNI THICH NU CHAN KHONG
"When we have more clarity in our mind we will have compassion not only for the victims, but for the traffickers themselves. When we see that the traffickers have suffered, we can help them to wake up and stop what they are doing. Our compassion can help transform them into friends and allies for our cause.”
RABBI ABRAHAM SKORKA
"As a Jew, I join all of you, raising my voice with all my strength, so that every kind of slavery is condemned in every way and dealt with, with severe penalties.”
Among those in attendance was an Indian woman named Mata Amritanandamayi, who in Hinduism, is considered to be holy living person.
There was also a Muslim representative of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, which is the most important Islamic university.
The leader of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew, sent a video message as a sign of support.
Two victims who survived human trafficking read a statement, which was later signed by religious leaders.
The joint meeting was launched by the Global Freedom Network. It came about after the primate of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby shared the idea with Pope Francis in March 2014.
Religious leaders of different faiths joined in to not only make a statement, but to take action, together.