Vatican City, 17 March 2014 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the “Global Freedom Network”, an agreement between the representatives of the great world religions to eradicate modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, in collaboration with the Walk Free Foundation. The speakers at the conference were: Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences, on behalf of the Holy Father; Mahmoud Azab, on behalf of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Egypt; Rev. Sir John Moxon, on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, and Andrew Forrest, founder of the Walk Free Foundation.
The objective of the agreement is to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking across the world by 2020”; it is a revolutionary and unprecedented agreement among representatives of major faiths. The joint statement made by the signatories underscores the “searing personal destructiveness of modern slavery and human trafficking” and calls for “urgent action by all other Christian Churches and global faiths”.
According to the Joint Statement, “Modern slavery and human trafficking are crimes against humanity. The physical, economic and sexual exploitation of men, women and children condemns 30 million people to dehumanisation and degradation. Every day we let this tragic situation continue is a grievous assault on our common humanity and a shameful affront to the consciences of all peoples. Any indifference to those suffering exploitation must cease. We call to action all people of faith and their leaders, all governments and people of goodwill, to join the movement against modern slavery and human trafficking and support the Global Freedom Network”.