The world always has and always will be a troubled place but many of us sometimes tend to see our own particular age and place as the worst of all possible situations. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” We almost always describe ones own situation in that manner. While we must be honest and forthright about the burdens and problems that face us, we also must take advantage of every cause of optimism and hope. I now see a very important cause of hope and optimism; namely, the world’s international response to the problem of human trafficking. Several times in the past I have mentioned in my blog the agonizing reality of human trafficking. One of my titles was even “Human Trafficking on IH-35” and I was delighted to see that so many people were shocked and temporarily in a spirit of disbelief.
What gives me great hope and enthusiasm is the fact that there is a growing awareness all across the planet of the horror, cruelty and destructiveness of human trafficking. It takes many forms but most of it involves forceful enslavement of young girls from poorer countries to be used as prostitutes in other countries where they are so far from home that they simply don’t have a way to escape.
A few weeks ago, there was a major conference in Rome pulled together by Bishop Patrick Lynch, Chair of the Office of Migration Policy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales along with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace led by Cardinal Peter Turkson. In preparing for the conference, Church leaders worked closely with Human Exploitation and Organized Crime Command of Scotland Yard. They did a great job of generating interest, concern and follow-up work in other countries. Countries of origin of human trafficking, including Thailand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Nepal, Vietnam, China and the Czech Republic, are also developing programs and much needed responses.
This is a horrible situation and the whole world needs to confront it. I am glad to see Church organizations and governmental organizations working hand in hand in order to achieve the necessary results.