Anglicans and Catholics meet to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts
(Vatican Radio) Anti-trafficking experts from across the Anglican world are meeting in Rome this week to coordinate their efforts more closely with partner organisations in the Catholic Church. The November 3rd to 7th meeting, which will be attended by members of the Caritas network, is focusing on the most effective ways of protecting survivors of slavery and trafficking, prosecuting the perpetrators and advocating for better policies within governments and the private sector.
The plight of an estimated 30 million people caught up in the global trafficking trade has been repeatedly described by Pope Francis as a crime against humanity and has also been identified as a priority for the worldwide Anglican Communion. Among those taking part in the meeting is the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, who also serves on the executive board of the Global Freedom Network, set up to coordinate a more effective ecumenical and interfaith response to this growing international problem.
Individuals or churches interested in finding out more about these efforts are invited to join the discussion on Thursday November 6th when they can take part in a ‘webinar’ or online link up with experts from over 20 countries around the world. To deepen the spiritual foundations of their work, participants will also spend a day in Assisi, reflecting on the ministry of St Francis to the most vulnerable and oppressed of his time.
To find out more, Philippa Hitchen spoke with Rev Rachel Carnegie, co-director of the Anglican Alliance which is convening the 5 day consultation…
“As with Pope Francis, when he met with Archbishop Justin, they jointly recognised that modern slavery was a crime against humanity and jointly committed and had a vision of how churches and other faith groups could work in partnership with the wider world to end this deplorable scourge….
The gift of churches and faith groups is that presence in every community and to be the eyes and ears on the ground, to be aware of where people are being trafficked….and the more joined up we are, the more we can help to monitor where people are being moved, to help on prevention….and to work alongside law enforcement groups for care and support of survivors….
Local church groups, if they’re aware of cases of trafficking, must refer those to law enforcement groups…..but as importantly churches can help in raising awareness….if somebody is looking to travel to another country for work, what are the safeguards to be put in place, what kind of checks they need to do on recruitment agencies….
As consumers we can ask really important questions about supply chains that businesses have, we can raise awareness about the risks of people moving from one place to another so we do a lot of work on prevention, while also pressing governments and authorities to take action to get really robust legislation in place…
Of course the key distinction that churches bring is the power of prayer, so one thing we’ll be discussing this week is how to help churches to reflect spiritually on slavery and trafficking, to look at texts and stories in the bible and to be there alongside, imaginatively, the victims who are suffering ….”
Churches, individuals and communities worldwide are invited to join a one-hour global webinar held on Thursday 6th November 2014 at 1pm GMT, by clicking on this link to register and join the discussion: http://view6.workcast.net/register?pak=1441731768223198