“Cooperation and coordination among the national and international institutions are crucial and fundamental to eradicate human trafficking and to make everyone’s actions more expeditious and effective, whether in places of origin, transit or destination” (Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, Article 39, p.28)
Caritas Asia, together with Caritas Internationalis and Apostleship of the Sea Vatican, organized a special meeting between church organizations working on human trafficking issue. The meeting was initially designed only for Caritas organizations inviting guests from different church organizations. However, considering the fact that human trafficking is trans-boundaries issue, the meeting was shifted to become a space where church organizations can have conversation among each other.
Approximately 43 people of Caritas Internationalis, Caritas members in Asia, Caritas Nigeria, Caritas Albania, Caritas France, Apostleship of the Sea, COATNET, Talitha Khum, Stella Maris, USCCB and ACRATH participated in the meeting.
It witnessed rich exchanges of information among participants of the recent contexts and facts about labor migration and human trafficking issues, as sending, transit or destination countries. This sharing strengthens the need to be connected to one another as ONE CHURCH.
The participants are reminded by both Caritas Asia and Caritas Internationalis leaderships the importance in addressing the root causes and initiating a dialogue with development program to tackle this issue. In addition, it is also important to understand the growing trends of forced labor and human trafficking in order to combat it.
The key reflections of the meeting are the importance of focusing at the preventive aspect of human trafficking, showcasing the experience of church organizations and finding proper mechanism between church organizations to synergize and cooperate on the issue.
Cardinal Chito Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis, reminded the participants to be careful when using the word ‘network’ because human trafficking is also a product of network.
Further, Cardinal Tagle called for called for a formation of ‘network of light’ to block the traffickers.
Caritas and other church organizations participated in an international conference on combating human trafficking with 250 government officials and experts of 40 countries held on 25 – 26 July 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan.