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Tuesday, December 9, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 6 DEC 2008 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, participated recently in the sixteenth ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The event, attended by foreign ministers from the 56 members States of the OSCE, was held in Helsinki, Finland, on 4 and 5 December.

  In his English-language address to the assembly, pronounced on 4 December, Archbishop Mamberti focused on the question of the right to religious freedom, saying that "the Holy See promotes this right, demands that it be universally respected, and views with concern the increasing episodes of violence, as well as the ongoing acts of discrimination and intolerance against Christians and members of other religions".

  Turning his attention to the "scourge of trafficking in human beings", he affirmed that "the root causes of this phenomenon include economic factors, such as the imbalance between rural and urban wealth levels and the desperate desire to escape poverty. Juridical and political factors also contribute to the problem, such as the absence of legislation, and the ignorance of parents and trafficked persons of their rights under the law".

  "Globalisation and the increased movement of people can also make vulnerable groups, such as women and girls, easier prey for traffickers, who clearly have no regard for the dignity of the human person, and who view people as mere commodities to be bought and sold, used and abused at will.

  "There is", he added, "a further aspect which must be acknowledged and collectively addressed if this abhorrent human exploitation is to be effectively confronted. I am referring to the trivialisation of sexuality in the media and entertainment industries which fuels a decline in moral values and leads to the degradation of men and women and even the abuse of children".

  The secretary for Relations with States concluded by underscoring "the commitment of the Catholic Church to uphold the dignity of every human life, especially the most vulnerable", and assuring "full support in efforts of the OSCE to eliminate the scourge of trafficking, in particular of women and children, prostitution, and forced labour".
DELSS/.../OSCE:MAMBERTI                    VIS 20081209 (360)

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