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Vatican observer says human trafficking "worst rights violation"

The Vatican's permanent observer at the UN in Geneva Archbishop Silvano Tomasi has highlighted the "forced expulsions and violent conflicts" that make up the growing phenomenon of human trafficking.

Archbishop Tomasi recently addressed the 60th session of the Commission on Human Rights, which concludes this Friday.

He said that human trafficking is the worst of the various violations of migrants' rights.

"It involves up to one million persons transported annually across national borders," he said. "It is carried out for various types of exploitation of children, women and men, subjecting them to slave-like conditions in work, sexual abuse and begging, thus stripping people of their God given dignity and fuelling instead corruption and organized crime. Trafficking has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry."

Archbishop Tomasi noted the presence of international organisations to combat such violations, adding that there was need also "for regional mechanisms and national legislation to eradicate this scourge."

He also said that "clear legal protection for victims must be assured," suggesting that "temporary residence permits be issued to the victim as an encouragement to cooperate with the judicial system but also as a possible opening for social integration in the host society."

Trafficking in humans is worst violation of migrants' rights (Vatican Information Service 17/4/04)

20 Apr 2004