Bishops urge youth to join fight vs human trafficking

Bishops urge youth to join fight vs human trafficking

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (left) and Bishop Ruperto Santos of the CBCP’s Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People celebrate Mass to mark the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking at the Manila Cathedral, Feb. 8. NICEFORO BALBEDINA

By CBCP News

February 8, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Catholic officials said that combatting human trafficking is everybody’s business as they urged the youth to join in the fight against modern slavery.

In statement, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos of the CBCP Migrants’ Commission said that the Church sees the youth as partners in fighting the menace of human trafficking.

“We call for a more active involvement of the youth as partners to also learn together crosscutting all other issues related to human trafficking,” said Santos in a joint statement with the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines.

He said that young people must take concrete actions and advocate policies that make children more vulnerable to human trafficking and other crimes.

The bishop made the call during a Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Friday to mark the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking.

The annual day is celebrated Feb. 8, the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child in Sudan and Italy.

Attended by a number of advocates, he also said that religious communities must step up the plate and do more to stop the problem.

“Let us form committees and strengthen network among ministries to prevent human trafficking,” he said.

The bishop also encouraged parishes and church organizations to continue providing a home for victims and survivors of human trafficking.