Vatican and Law Enforcement Join Forces Against Human Trafficking

Police Chiefs and Church Representatives To Convene in Rome

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The Vatican and Law Enforcement Agencies from around the world are teaming up to combat human trafficking. The second international conference entitled ‘Combating Human Trafficking: Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership’ will take place from April 9-10.

The Bishops Conference of England and Wales is organizing the two-day conference which will be chaired by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. The event will conclude with an audience with Pope Francis. The Holy Father will meet with police chiefs and victims of human trafficking.

“This is an important initiative,” Vatican Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told journalists Friday. “As you can see, many representatives of police chiefs will be present. The quality of this meeting is very impressive with the collaboration between law enforcement and the Church.”

In a statement released by the Holy See, the conference will build upon the Pope’s recent meeting with US President Barack Obama. «During that meeting, they both expressed their common commitment to the eradication of human trafficking throughout the world,” it said.

The conference, the communique added, “is a practical step in fulfilling this aim. It seeks to showcase and build on the joint police and church initiative in London that has been running for the past three years; a collaboration that is to be copied and adapted around the world.”

Participants of the conference will have the opportunity to listen to victims of human trafficking, thus placing the welfare of the victim at the heart of the initiative. Women religious who pastorally take care of victims will also address the conference.

The international conference will be live streamed and the Holy See will release details for those who wish to follow the event in the near future. (J.A.E.)

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