Final message from the conference on human trafficking within and from Africa

At the end of the celebration of the Mass
(Our Lady of Nigeria, Abuja)

Final message from the conference on human trafficking within and from Africa 
held in Abuja, Nigeria
from 5th – 7th of September 2016

1. We, the representatives from Catholic and other faith based organisations from 43 countries engaged in fighting against human trafficking, over half of them from Africa, gathered in Abuja/Nigeria from the 5th – 7th of September 2016 to discuss human trafficking within and from Africa. Following the call of the 2014 declaration of Pope Francis and other faith leaders on eradicating modern slavery by 2020, we came together to reaffirm and commit to collaboration and common action aiming at preventing and eradicating the scourge of human trafficking and exploitation of human beings and upholding human dignity. We aim to build our collaboration on each other’s strengths and avoiding duplication in order to build ‘One Voice’ against human trafficking.

2. The suffering of the victims of human trafficking, exploitation and the impunity of the criminals and traffickers challenge us to take increased collaborative action.

3. Furthermore we are challenged by the fact that victims of trafficking are often invisible to society and it is sometimes only by chance that they can escape from their exploiters. For every one victim found, there are 100 or more undetected victims and some may never live to tell their tales of woes.1

4. We acknowledge that trafficking in human beings affects all people and appeals to all faith. The centres of final destinations are not only in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Gulf States, but in all continents and countries. There are therefore enough reasons for interfaith cooperation to act together to promote human dignity and defend the freedom of each person.

5. We listened to the voices of survivors of human trafficking. We were touched by their courage to give testimony and by their engagement to turn their suffering into a resource to prevent trafficking of other women, men and children through education and to rescue victims of this crime. We thank them for the work they do and the hope they give to other victims.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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