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Pope Francis addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York

PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

‘Thanks to Pope Francis, Human Trafficking Is on Political Agenda Internationally’

In Wake of Pope’s UN Visit, Missionary in Philippines Examines Pontiff’s Potential Help to the Exploited

Thanks to Pope Francis, the issue of human trafficking is back on the political agenda at an international level, says Fr. Shay Cullen, an Irish missionary in the Philippines.
 
According to Fides, the priest said the Pontiff’s moral authority “can do much to push governments to do more to combat this phenomenon.”
 
Fr. Cullen is founder and leader of the PREDA Foundation in the Philippines. The foundation aims to save, protect and reintegrate people, especially children and women, who have been victims of human trafficking, exploitation and sexual slavery into society.
 
According to the missionary, “Pope Francis is trying to revive a prophetic voice in the church on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized. Through his example, he invites all Christians to follow and imitate Jesus Christ and his Gospel.”
 
He also observed how “the mission of combating human trafficking is an issue he [Pope Francis] has at heart.”
 
On several occasions, the missionary pointed out that Francis made statements and took concrete steps so that the exploitation of women and children is on the political and social agenda, including conferences in the Vatican.
 
While saying children and women living on the streets are the most vulnerable, Fr. Cullen said the Pope’s words have “been crucial and entered the list of priorities of sustainable development goals of the United Nations.”
 
Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has highlighted the problem of human trafficking and exploitation.

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