Pope Francis is once again using his position to help speak out against human trafficking.
Four women who were forced into sex slavery and later freed met with the pope at the Vatican on Thursday at an international conference on human trafficking. The goal of the conference is to combat what the pontiff called a “crime against humanity,” the Huffington Post reports.
“Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society,” the pope told the conference. “I exhort the international community to adopt an even more unanimous and effective strategy against human trafficking, so that in every part of the world, men and women may no longer be used as a means to an end.”
According the report, The Catholic Church, citing International Labour Organization estimates, calculates that 2.4 million people are trafficked at any given time, with traffickers receiving more than $32 billion a year.
The pope joined church officials and police chiefs from 20 countries, including the U.S., England, Thailand and Nigeria, in an effort to build global cooperation to fight the problem.
Last month, Pope Francis met with President Obama, where the issue of human trafficking was brought up. The pope has also backed a Modern Slavery Bill, a landmark initiative that will see the Anglican and Catholic Churches unite to combat trafficking.
Publication Date: April 11, 2014