Churches demand action against human traffickers
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CHURCH leaders have bemoaned the prevalence of human trafficking, which they largely blamed on a lack of resources and failure to bring its perpetrators to justice.
The Christian leaders were speaking at the Africities Forum ongoing in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Africities Summit is a key summit for Africa’s Local Authorities, organized regularly every three years by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa).
Anglican Archbishop of Pretoria, Bishop Joe Seoka, said the trafficking of people was a multi-billion dollar industry, which far eclipsed the international drug trade.
His sentiments followed Pope Francis, on an ongoing tour of Africa, called for international action and enlisted the assistance of local government leaders from around the world in fighting the scourge.
“We need to build a network that crosses the nation to fight trafficking,” said Seoka.
He highlighted the Gauteng Province, South Africa’s and the continent’s commercial hub, was a hot spot for human trafficking.
Sekoa said the ‘stations’ used for processing people were situated just outside Johannesburg.
It is believed the victims of the trade are generally poor people who were lured to Gauteng with the promise of employment only to be imprisoned, abused and trafficked.
The Catholic Archbishop of Pretoria, William Slattery, said the Pope had drawn the world’s attention to the fact that the abuse of the earth and its finite resources could not be separated from the brutality inherent in the international trade in people.
“As the earth cries out, so do people cry out. We are living beyond our means-the means of the earth- and the technological changes that began 200 years ago have led to a lack of appreciation of our world and disregard for life,” said Slattery.
– CAJ News
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