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European and Mediterranean Caritas groups united against slavery

Caritas groups from Europe and the Mediterranean are joining forces to tackle the trafficking of human persons, in particular, of children. This project envisions cross-border research between two regional Caritas groups (Caritas of the Middle East and North Africa, and Caritas of Europe) and nine national Caritas groups (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Jordan, Lebanon, Kosovo, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Ukraine). The initiative was launched on the occasion of the 2018 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

As the leaders of Caritas Europa explained, “The results of the research should contribute to improving care practices for rescued victims by providing data on the impact that trafficking has on victims, which will be useful to produce new and more efficient methods to support the victims during the process of rebuilding their lives”. The research will also allow for the development of “tools and techniques to better identify, prevent and combat the practices of traffickers, as well as to improve awareness among groups at risk, law-enforcement authorities and the general public”. It is evident that the traffickers are highly organized and their technologies are increasingly sophisticated, enabling them to generate what is effectively a multi-billion dollar system of organised crime. This is “very necessary” research, confirmed Geneviève Colas, Caritas Europa’s representative on counter-trafficking in human beings. “Although the fight against traffickers has improved over the last years, traffickers have adapted and found new ways of capturing their victims”.

Maria Grazia Giammarinar, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, invited Caritas to present its recommendations to government leaders before the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Their recommendations include providing specific training for all those who work in this field, so that they might give the victims the opportunity to rebuild their lives, and to prevent the repatriation of victims who might be at risk if they return to their native countries.

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St. Peter’s Square

Oct. 15, 2018

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