“The trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights. . . Such situations are an affront to fundamental values which are shared by all cultures and peoples, values rooted in the very nature of the human person.”
– Blessed John Paul II, Letter to Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran (2002)
Many vulnerable adults and children have been trapped in modern-day slavery. Human trafficking is a terrible crime against the dignity of the human person involving the “recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons by means of force, fraud or coercion,” as defined by the United Nations Protocol on Human Trafficking.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “the seventh commandment forbids acts or enterprises that for any reason—selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian—lead to the enslavement of human beings, to their being bought, sold and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit.” (2414)
Anti-trafficking laws and programs should be strengthened to discourage the growth of this trade, and support networks for both labor- and sex-trafficking victims should be created and funded. We support legislation that adheres to these efforts and seeks to uphold the dignity and rights of the human person.