Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - Each Bishops’ Conference and diocese are invited to create a Desk dealing with Human Trafficking in the spirit of Santa Marta. This is the main recommendation that emerged at the end of the second African regional conference of Santa Marta held in Nairobi from 1 to 4 October (see Fides, 28/8/2019).
The Santa Marta group is a global alliance of police leaders, bishops and religious communities working in collaboration with civil society in the fight against human trafficking, defined by Pope Francis as "a crime against humanity".
The conference on "Sensitizing the local communities and Government on dangers of Human Trafficking" brought together over 100 delegates from nine countries including: Kenya, Sierra Leone, Angola, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Eswatini, Ghana, and the United Kingdom including representatives from the Church, Law Enforcement Agencies, regional and international actors, and organizations that work in the areas of migration and control of human movements.
The delegates, recommended the different bishops conferences to collaborate with the law enforcement authorities, judiciary, immigration department, police forces on addressing issues of human trafficking.
His Exc. Mgr. Philip Anyolo, Archbishop of Kisumu and President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Kenya, in his opening speech he called for "the creation of effective partnerships and collaborations with the aim of cutting the umbilical cord of human trafficking and of the slavery of our days".
In his good will message to the conference, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Santa Marta Group saluted the hard work done by the delegates and noted that the fight against human trafficking is as urgent and as important as ever.
"We have to remember that human trafficking is a hugely profitable criminal activity and those who drive it forward are endless both in their greed for profit and in their callous disregard for the dignity of every person. They must be stopped; and victims rescued, cherished and supported", said the Cardinal in a speech read on his behalf by Fr Mark Odion, the African Project Coordinator-Santa Marta Group. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/10/2019)