Stopping Traffic

The new global anti-trafficking movement is expanding in Europe, where churches have joined a coalition to advocate for an end to human trafficking within European Union member states. The Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe sent a letter to José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Union, urging ratification of a document that has collected dust on his desk since late 2004. If ratified, the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings would require signatory states to actively implement measures that discourage trafficking, secure borders, assist victims, and strengthen prosecution. Tony Blair announced earlier this year that he would sign the convention.

In 2001, the European Commission reported that "an estimated 120,000 women and children are being trafficked into Western Europe each year." The Churches Commission consists of Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox churches, and church councils and agencies in most EU countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland.

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