The 21st Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons, organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), took place from 14 – 16 June. It was conducted primarily online, with limited in-person participation for delegations from Vienna due to Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions.
The virtual meeting put a spotlight on addressing the factors that increase the demand that fuels trafficking for the purposes of labour and sexual exploitation. It also explored the fundamental causes of trafficking, its effects on society, and possible means of putting an end to it.
The permanent representative of the Holy See to the OSCE, Monsignor Janusz Urbańczyk, spoke at four panels during the conference.
Tackling the demand
On Monday, Msgr. Urbańczyk analyzed demand as the fundamental, deep-rooted cause of trafficking, identifying two factors that further contribute to demand: poverty and an economic system concerned only about maximizing profit to serve the greed of a few rather than all of humanity.
He went on to applaud global efforts to combat the scourge of trafficking in persons, which have led around 96 percent of States to adopt legislation against trafficking; and have established specific training for the police, initiated awareness-raising campaigns, and worked in collaboration with NGOs. However, he lamented the continuous increase in trafficking, particularly during the current pandemic.
He stressed that “an economy without human trafficking is an economy with market rules that promote justice and not exclusive special interests.”
Category: Catholic Church