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Rome Reports

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Trafficking victim works with Vatican: Today I speak for those without a voice

In a $150 billion industry, with more than 40 million people regarded as objects of trade, the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences is working harder than ever to not only eliminate trafficking in every form, but to help integrate victims back into society as functioning members.

President, Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences
“This is what we're concerned with: the resettlement, the reintegration, the rehabilitation of trafficking people. The statistics such as they are show that trafficking is on the increase and the profits from trafficking are beginning to exceed the profits of drug trading, if you can believe it, and arms dealing.”

Chancellor, Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences
“A large part of the problem has passed through the Internet. Today, one of the principle ways children are taken for everything: for organ trafficking, prostitution, and labor is the Internet. So we, at the academy, want to do a thorough study of the problem, but above all, the Internet.”

Pope Francis, since the beginning of his pontificate has asked for a focus on trafficking and even most recently strict Internet regulations. 

Additionally, the Pontifical Academy is looking for practical ways to help victims by teaching them how to pay the rent, buy food, and hold down a job, among others. One woman, Rani Hong, offered her experience, as a victim of human trafficking at the young age of seven. 

UN Special Adviser to fight Human Trafficking
“In the conference we had today we talked about how do we integrate former victims back into society. I had a very difficult time trusting anybody. When I first arrived in America, I was so shut down they put me aside in destitute because I wasn't communicating. So I had to learn how do we communicate again. I had to learn, as a former victim, how do I trust another human being again, after being held in a cage? I'm here to inspire the Academy and others to take on this issue, because today I speak for those without a voice. The millions of children around the world that are not here and able to tell their story.”

Now, through collaboration with multiple sources including banks, non-profit organizations and even parishes to find criminals, the Vatican hopes to restore dignity to those in society who are victims. To do so they will host a Summit with women judges and prosecutors at the end of the week, to abolish this form of slavery that has now showed up in various other forms.