Pope Francis Calls for Britons to Listen to Cries of Human Trafficking Victims

By Mei Manuel, June 11, 2018 03:06 AM


On Thursday, Pope Francis called upon to Catholics in United Kingdom to "open their eyes" and "hear the cries" of human trafficking victims as the Church tries to tackle the issue with advocacy and technology.

The pope said that he was praying for the freedom of people trapped in slavery, which was around 40 million globally, and asked Catholic to comfort those who have "survived such inhumanity."

In his public letter to Britain's Bishop John Sherrington, the Pope also writes "The Holy Father appeals to us all: that we may open our eyes and be able to see the misery of those so deprived of their dignity and their freedom, and hear their cry for help."

At least 13,000 people in Britain are estimated by the government to be victims of slavery - working in constructions, factories, farms and car washes - but it is said by the police that the numbers could be very higher than that.

The Church has been working nonstop in tackling the issue of human trafficking in recent years, from establishing an alliance of global police chiefs and bishops working to end the crime to an anti-slavery mobile app.

The anti-slavery mobile app, which was launched this week by Church of England and the Catholic Church, enables British drivers to report suspected slave labor in car washes as continuous fears regarding abuse have been increasing in social media and news.

The pope's letter to Britain was sent ahead of the Church's annual Day for Life in England and Wales on June 17, which will focus on raising awareness on slavery and human trafficking.

Pope Francis has actively spoken about slavery in the past couple of months, from the "sacred" lives of trafficking victims to branding forcing women into prostitution a "crime against humanity" and asking for public forgiveness for Catholic men who use prostitutes.

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