Vatican Declaration on human trafficking

April 12, 2024

April 2, 2024.  The Vatican issued the Declaration “Dignitas Infinita” On Human Dignity, which condemns trafficking:

“Human trafficking must also be counted among the grave violations of human dignity. While it is not a new phenomenon, it has taken on tragic dimensions before our eyes, which is why Pope Francis has denounced it in particularly emphatic terms: “I reaffirm here that the ‘trade in people’ is a vile activity, a disgrace to our societies that claim to be civilized! Exploiters and clients at all levels should make a serious examination of conscience both in the first person and before God! Today the Church is renewing her urgent appeal that the dignity and centrality of every individual always be safeguarded, with respect for fundamental rights, as her social teaching emphasizes. She asks that these rights really be extended for millions of men and women on every continent, wherever they are not recognized. In a world in which a lot is said about rights, how often is human dignity actually trampled upon! In a world in which so much is said about rights, it seems that the only thing that has any rights is money.”

“For these reasons, the Church and humanity must not cease fighting against such phenomena as “the marketing of human organs and tissues, the sexual exploitation of boys and girls, slave labor, including prostitution, the drug and weapons trade, terrorism, and international organized crime. Such is the magnitude of these situations, and their toll in innocent lives, that we must avoid every temptation to fall into a declarationist nominalism that would assuage our consciences. We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective in the struggle against all these scourges.” Confronted with these varied and brutal denials of human dignity, we need to be increasingly aware that “human trafficking is a crime against humanity.” It essentially denies human dignity in at least two ways: “Trafficking profoundly disfigures the humanity of the victim, offending his or her freedom and dignity. Yet, at the same time, it dehumanizes those who carry it out.”

Declaration “Dignitas Infinita” On Human Dignity