Vatican Resource Document to Combat Human Trafficking


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Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry, with over 40 million people living in slavery today. 

On 17th January 2019, the Vatican issued a 32 page document, “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking”, with the aim of “understanding, recognizing, preventing, and eradicating the plague of the trafficking of persons, protecting the victims, and promoting the recovery of survivors.”

The document provides some key considerations around the issue of Human Trafficking. The Vatican press release stated the following:

"Pope Francis' insistent teaching on human trafficking provides the foundation for the present pastoral orientations which draw also from the longstanding practical experience of many international Catholic NGOs working in the field and from the observations of representatives of bishops' conferences.

While approved by the Holy Father, the orientations do not pretend to exhaust the church's teaching on human trafficking; rather, they provide a series of key considerations that may be useful to Catholics and others in their pastoral ministry, in planning and practical engagement, in advocacy and dialogue.”

The document is broken down into ten sections, providing an analysis of human trafficking from different angles, together with recommendations for action.

The Vatican will host a conference focused on the implementation of these guidelines in early April.

You can download this handbook here:

Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking