Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, addressed the General Assembly on July 13 at the event “Eliminating the Trafficking of Children and Youth.”
The conference focused on the need for greater awareness and stronger policies to combat human trafficking among children and youth. The Archbishop reiterated the Church’s stance that human trafficking is “a crime against humanity,” as well as highlighting its work at every level to fight human trafficking, forced labor and other forms of modern slavery and eliminate their causes.
Pope Francis has made human trafficking and forced labor a priority of international diplomacy for the Vatican, calling on diplomats, religious leaders, law enforcement, and local government leaders to take concrete steps to end these practices. In his speech, Archbishop Auza asked the UN to review what steps have been effective and what still needs to be done to end all forms of trafficking and violence against children by 2030, one of the key targets of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
CBIS engages with a number of companies on the issues of human trafficking and child labor, including Target (human trafficking in their seafood supply chain), Macy’s (child labor in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan), and Campbell’s (child labor in the palm oil sector).
The full text of Archbishop Auza’s speech can be found here.