Studies reveal the ‘root causes’ that may render someone vulnerable to being trafficked are complex and multifaceted. Among these the following causes are significant:
- Denial of fundamental human rights, including access to basic needs
- Abject poverty, making women and children particularly vulnerable
- War and conflict leading to mass internal displacement or migration
- Ongoing political, social and economic instability
- Limited access to education either for cultural or financial reasons
- A lack of reasonable and realistic employment opportunities
- The global demand for cheap and exploitable labour • A rise in the demand for women and youth to supply the global ‘sex industry’
- Use of social media for ‘grooming’ and exploitive on-line dating
Pope Francis is a great champion of the movement to eradicate human trafficking. He believes the current global economic system, with the emphasis on profit, has allowed new forms of slavery to develop that are “worse and more inhumane” than the slavery of the past.
The Global Action Team of MIA, in their collective ministry to oppose human trafficking or modern slavery, is committed to counter the root causes through a rights based approach. To this end in each country where the Mercy Family are located, they are collectively working to:
- Address ‘root causes’ especially human rights abuse, poverty and biased gender issues;
- Raise awareness about the reality of human trafficking;
- Network with civil and Government officials to prevent HT and to provide assistance to those who have been trafficked;
- Advocate with and on behalf of survivors of HT to ensure they receive justice and their traffickers are brought before the courts;
- Lobby for policy change at every level to protect the rights of trafficked persons;
- Actively participate in regional anti-trafficking networks and at the United Nations, to address the ‘root causes’ of HT, in order to eradicate it.
See current ‘Project Updates’ to find out what members of the Mercy Family are doing in specific countries.