Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest has launched a global network, along with the Vatican, the Anglican Communion and a leading Muslim institution, to end human trafficking worldwide by 2020, reports CNS/The Sydney Morning Herald.
The new accord, signed during a Vatican news conference yesterday, launched the beginning of the Global Freedom Network, which hopes to expand to include all the world's major faiths. The global initiative aims to prevent modern forms of slavery; to protect, rescue and rehabilitate victims; and to promote concrete measures that condemn or criminalize human trafficking.
In a joint statement, the accord's signatories called human trafficking and modern forms of slavery 'crimes against humanity' and called for urgent action by all faith communities to join the effort to 'set free the most oppressed of our brothers and sisters.'
'Only by activating, all over the world, the ideals of faith and of shared human values can we marshal the spiritual power, the joint effort, and the liberating vision to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking from our world and for all time,' the joint statement said.
Signing the agreement were:
Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, founder of Walk Free Foundation - a major partner and organiser of the new network; Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, representing Pope Francis; Mahmoud Azab, representing Ahmad el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, a leading Sunni Muslim institution in Cairo; and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative in Rome.
Vatican and Al-Azhar sign joint statement against human trafficking (Vatican Insider)