trafficking

POPE’S MESSAGE | At audience, pope leads prayers for migrants, trafficking victims

Pope Francis held a booklet with an image of Sudanese St. Josephine Bakhita Feb. 8 at his general audience in Paul VI hall. Marking the feast of St. Bakhita, a former slave, the pope urged Christians to help trafficking victims and migrants.

VATICAN CITY — Marking the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a former slave, Pope Francis urged Christians to help victims of human trafficking and migrants, especially the Rohingya people being chased from Myanmar.

For the Catholic Church, St. Bakhita's feast day, Feb. 8, is a day of prayer for victims of trafficking.

Pope Francis asked government officials around the world to "decisively combat this plague" of human trafficking, paying particular attention to trafficking in children. "Every effort must be made to eradicate this shameful and intolerable crime."

Sisters of St. Joseph call for better farmworking conditions

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers promotes fair treatment of farm workers. The Florida-based organization recently partnered with the Sisters of St. Joseph U.S. Federation to raise awareness of labor trafficking in the United States.

The working conditions on the tomato farm were extremely difficult. There was no access to water on hot days, no bathrooms in sight, and workers regularly experienced harassment at the hands of their bosses. The abuses were all too common, and workers felt they didn't have enough power to speak up.

POPE'S MESSAGE | God's judgment will come for traffickers, arms manufacturers

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis denounced those responsible for human trafficking, slave labor and arms manufacturing, saying people producing weapons of war are "merchants of death."

"One day everything comes to an end and they will be held accountable to God," the pope said at his weekly general audience June 11.

The pope also launched an appeal to the international community to help safeguard children from forced labor, highlighting the plight of an estimated 160 million child workers worldwide.

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