In a speech for the 53rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, 26, Monsignor John Putzer, Chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva, shared his concern about a recent Report on human trafficking.
Monsignor Putzer, reiterates the horror of a phenomenon fueled also by the misuse of technology and social media. “Needed international measures to prevent and combat the phenomenon, and policies aimed to the protection, assistance and reintegration of victims”
He also addressed the challenges faced by migrants. “People on the move often find themselves with the arduous choice of taking dangerous journeys, sometimes even, ‘falling victim to perilous illusions or unscrupulous traffickers'”, said Msgr. Putzer.
Quoting Pope Francis, he reiterated the importance of respecting the dignity of each migrant and safeguarding their lives. He emphasized, “Migrants are not just numbers and statistics, but our brothers and sisters, part of the same human family with the same, God-given, dignity.”
During his address, Monsignor Putzer reinforced that the Holy See “solemnly condemns all forms of human trafficking, exploitation and modern slavery”; it reaffirms “the inviolable divine dignity of every human being” and renews its commitment to combat “these heinous crimes in all their forms.”
Humanitarian crises and technology
Monsignor Putzer points out that “trafficking is a tragic reality that today is aggravated by the growing number of humanitarian and refugee crisis, in particular those stemming from conflict, climate change and poverty.”
He also reiterates the victims are “migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and forcibly displaced persons”, who are often victims of various forms of human trafficking.
In addition, Monsignor Putzer warns that with the opportunities brought today by technology, there are also several risks, as these can become additional tools for traffickers. He singles out, in particular, social media, often used to “identify and recruit victims, especially children.”
Protect, promote and integrate
Monsignor Putzer called upon states and local communities to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants without distinction. He also urged the international community to transform rhetoric into action and create a world in which migration is marked by compassion, justice, and respect for every individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms.
He concluded his speech at the UN meeting with a reminder that the rights and dignity of migrants are the world’s shared responsibility.
By Amanda Almeida, of the Communication Team, with information from Vatican News