The pope met with this rather heterogeneous group containing cardinals, marshals, nuns, and members of social organizations from 30 countries. This is the "Santa Marta Group." They are key players in the fight against all forms of trafficking: from the trade of human organs and body parts to prostitution.
"Thank you for this privilege of meeting you today.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols is the president of this very active and effective group. They started their work two years ago at the request of the pope. They have two objectives: to pursue offenders and assist victims.
"The victims are men and women, often minors, exploited on account of their poverty and marginalization."
The pope denounced the continued growth in the number of trafficking victims, those who are robbed of their dignity as well as physical and mental integrity. It is estimated this number includes at least 21 million people.
It is one issue which the pope is very concerned about, and he managed to put it on the list of sustainable development goals the UN has set for 2030.