According to the UN, there are some 21 million people who are trafficked worldwide. It is also estimated that it is a business almost as lucrative as arms trafficking or drug trafficking: Amassing the equivalent of over 39 trillion dollars per year. Human trafficking takes on different forms, from sexual slavery to organ trafficking or labor exploitation.
CARD. VINCENT NICHOLS
Archbishop of Westminster
"And I think so much is shocking, and not least the fact that there is probably in the UK(United Kingdom), no town that in which slave labor isn’t being used. And if that is true in the UK, it’s certainly true in the USA (United States of America). So this is hidden because it’s hidden in so many different ways and in so many nooks and crannies.”
Cardinal Nichols appeared before the UN to explain a project by the Pope in combating against human trafficking, called The Santa Marta Group. It is an international partnership involving law enforcement agencies from several countries, dioceses, social organizations and representatives of various religious denominations in the common struggle for the dignity of all human beings.
Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (UK)
"Whenever we buy something, whether it be a mobile phone, whether it be our clothes, whether it be our cars, there are so many checks and balances on every element of that material in that product. But what checks and balances are there on human beings? And why is it everything is looked upon in profit? We see shock and horror when share prices drop, but at the same time there are 21 million people across the world who are suffering. We don’t see the same shock and horror around that.”
The Santa Marta Group has joined the UN in the efforts to end these forms of modern slavery. For example, in the struggle to improve the living conditions of millions of poor workers who do not earn more than $2 a day or ending the recruitment of child soldiers, whose number is growing because of the 15 open conflicts currently in the world.