Maputo, 02 October, 2019 / 12:31 am (ACI Africa).
In a situation where cases of human trade for purposes such as sexual slavery, forced labour and other forms of human exploitation for commercial gain are on the rise in Mozambique, the Catholic Bishops in the Southern Africa country are encouraging various stakeholders to work toward preventing and supporting victims of human trafficking.
“The Bishops have called Church organizations to be active in the prevention and psycho-social support to victims of human trafficking,” the Director of Caritas in the diocese of Pemba, Mozambique, Leah Marie Lucas told ACI Africa in reference to the concerns and appeal expressed by Mozambique’s Episcopal Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People (CEMIRDE).
CEMIRDE, which is abbreviated from its Portuguese name, Comissão Episcopal Para Migrantes, Regufiados e Deslocados, expressed concerns about the growing trend of women and children falling prey to deceptive tactics of traffickers and appealed “to families, parishes, schools and Church organizations to take an interest in what is happening around their neighbourhoods,” Vatican News reported.
The Commission’s Executive Secretary, Sr. Marinês Biassibet encouraged faith-based organizations to provide pastoral care “through awareness creation or providing pastoral guidance on how to deal with the issue of human trafficking, migrants, refugees and displaced persons.”
Responding to CEMIRDE’s concerns and appeal, Leah of Caritas Pemba told ACI Africa Tuesday, “As we know that poverty is one of the driving factors of human trafficking, Caritas Pemba is actively working through development programs to create economic opportunities for otherwise vulnerable rural communities throughout the province of Cabo Delgado.”