Nationwide efforts to confront human trafficking received a boost in the new year as President Donald Trump signed a bill reauthorizing federal expenditures for prevention and assistance programs across the federal government.
Mely Lenario spoke March 13 on “Preventing Human Trafficking Among Rural Women and Girls,” a panel co-sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.
Meeting the group of adults and teenagers Feb. 12, Pope Francis responded to questions from the high school students and from young migrants about ways they could help fight trafficking and reach out to survivors.
Minnesota Catholic Conference is backing legislation that will create new fines and penalties and publicly recognizes the link between pornography and human trafficking as well as supporting the creation of a regulatory framework around the practice of commercial gestational surrogacy in the state.
During a U.N. Security Council open debate Nov. 21 on human trafficking in conflict situations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said as wars and conflicts rage, “trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, forced labor and similar crimes will continue to flourish.”
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich, has stated her efforts will be in fighting human trafficking and protecting religious liberty around the globe, not just regarding the persecution of Christians, but of any religious minority.
Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the migrant and refugee section of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, spoke at a meeting in Vienna Sept. 4-5 that was part of the U.N. process for developing and adopting a Global Compact for Migration and a Global Compact on Refugees.
The “completely senseless deaths” of 10 people who died of heat exhaustion and suffocation they suffered from being held in a tractor-trailer “is an incomprehensible tragedy,” said Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met Feb. 23 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, to discuss U.S.-Vatican cooperation in fighting human trafficking and ending modern slavery.
When Pope Francis posed for a photo Jan. 18 with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, it was not a protocol-dictated nicety; it was a recognition of the commitment on the part of the pope and of a coalition of state and private agencies in Louisiana to stop human trafficking.