Vatican City, 20 May 2014 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the Talitha Kum International Network of Consecrated Life against Human Trafficking campaign for the Brazil World Cup 2014: “Play for life, against trafficking”. The speakers were Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Kenneth Francis Hackett, the United States' ambassador to the Holy See, Sister Carmen Sammut, MSOLA, president of the International Union of Superior Generals, Sister Estrella Castalone, F.M.A., coordinator of Talitha Kum, and Sister Gabriella Bottani, M.C.C.J., coordinator of the network Um Grito pela Vida, Brazil.
“This campaign shows the between consecrated life and the sentiments of our Holy Father regarding this crime, that he himself has defined as a wound on the body of contemporary humanity, a wound in Christ's flesh”, said Cardinal Braz de Aviz. Sister Carmen Sammut emphasised that unfortunately “this crime is present everywhere, for the profits from it are enormous. Prevention of this type of human trafficking entails reducing the demands for sexual services. In order for this to happen, public opinion needs to be alerted”.
Recalling the Holy Father's remark that it is impossible to remain indifferent in the knowledge that there are human beings trafficked like goods, Sister Gabriella Bottani pointed out that, according to official statistics, this serious crime affects around 21 million people around the world and that, with a better understanding of the phenomenon and its causes, methods of encouraging it to be reported to the authorities can be found. “We must forcefully combat the code of silence and fear surrounding this serious violation of human dignity”. The message of this campaign is a concrete and positive proposal for life: “A dignified and free life for all”. It is hoped that the World Cup in Brazil may offer a positive space for the promotion of the culture of rights and life, denouncing all forms of exploitation that devalue and reduce it to the status of a commodity and raising awareness among populations regarding the possible risks and how to intervene by reporting transgressions to the authorities.