Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015

Pope Francis links global warming to human trafficking

Pope Francis said he had “great hopes” that a fundamental agreement to tackle climate change would be reached in Paris later this year, placing great faith in the UN, but surprising many by linking the move to human trafficking.

Believing the United Nations needed to play a central role in the fight against global warming, the Pope said: “The UN really needs to take a very strong position on this issue, particularly the trafficking of human beings … [a problem] that has been created by climate change.”

The Vatican hosted the event which connected environmental challenges, how disruptions in climate were contributing to a humanitarian crisis in migration and; therefore, was a factor in modern slavery.

Ana Laura Pérez Jaimes began the conference by detailed her horrors in Mexico.

“It’s not possible that it still exists, that we remain blind” to the issue of modern slavery, said Ana Laura Pérez Jaimes, who spent five years chained up and forced to work 20 hours a day in Mexico. She showed the mayors photographs of some of the 600 scars she suffered as an indentured servant, forced to iron for hours a day without food or water. She said she had to urinate in a plastic bag.

Karla Jacinto, also a Mexican woman, described how she was physically and sexually abused by her family and forced into prostitution between the ages of 12 and 17. She was forced to have sex with more than 42,000 clients before she was rescued.

Crowds cheer Pope Francis during his visit to St. Joseph parish church in Rome on December 14, 2014   Photo Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP/Corbis courtesy of weta.org

Crowds cheer Pope Francis during his visit to St. Joseph parish church in Rome on December 14, 2014 Photo Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP/Corbis courtesy of weta.org

“I didn’t think I was worth anything. I thought I was just an object that was used and thrown away,” she told the packed conference hall, silent as the 22-year-old mother of two spoke.

“We cannot separate man from everything else. There is a relationship which has a huge impact, both on the person in the way they treat the environment and the rebound effect against man when the environment is mistreated,” Francis said in his remarks.

He spoke of the “uncurtailed growth of cities”, which has given rise to “shanty towns and slums” on the outskirts of big cities because there was not enough economic opportunity to sustain poor people in rural areas. “This needs to be denounced,” Francis said.

He criticized the rise in youth unemployment, Italy’s rate is now more than 40% and how the plight of the young and poor was leading to “meaningless lives”.

“If we project this to the future … what kind of horizon can they look towards,” he asked. “Some turn to guerrilla activities, to find some meaning in life and also their health is jeopardized.”

The pope then took aim at the growth of black market labor and no-contract work, which he said ensured that people could not earn living wages and led to forms of “addiction.”

So, to summarize the assumption is that climate change leads to devastating events like earthquakes, floods etc…which leads to refugees, devestated areas, which are then vulnerable to human trafficking rings and exploitation.

Neither Jaimes or Jacinto made any mention of climate change issues during their talks.



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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON


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