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The Trafficking in Women and Children.

The Southern African Catholic Bishops, meeting collegially, have become acutely aware that the countries of our territory (Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland) are not excluded from the international trafficking in women and children, particularly for the Sex trade.

The trafficking in the Vulnerable will not be challenged until Women and Children are treated, not as goods or possessions to be bought, used and sold, but as unique and valuable individuals

Society’s strength is measured not in its strongest, most privileged members, but in its most vulnerable members. Women and Children have the right to family and nurturing and security.

As pastors, we acknowledge with gratitude the churches and NGOs throughout Africa that have made this issue a priority. We thank them for providing shelter and security to vulnerable women and children.

We commit ourselves, together with the Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life (Major Religious Superiors) to provide greater support for initiatives to deal with this problem, such as those of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) . To this end, we will be establishing at Khanya House (our headquarters in Pretoria), a desk to address the issue of Human Trafficking. One of the tasks of this desk is to network with other agencies. The desk would also lobby through the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO) for the criminalisation of human trafficking.

We therefore, once again, call for the formation of our communities as communities of care, so that Women and children will find a safe space and would be protected. We also call on men and women to remember that we are created – male and female – in the image and likeness of God (genesis 1:26). No person has the right to buy, use or sell another person.
 

13.02.2006 12:50 [Collegial Statement]

 

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