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Human trafficking

Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message to focus on human trafficking

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Human trafficking destroys the lives of millions of children, women and men each year, making it a real threat to peace, the Vatican said as it announced Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message would focus on the phenomenon.

"Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters" will be the theme for the Jan. 1, 2015, commemoration and for the message Pope Francis will write for the occasion, according to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Pope to traffickers, arms manufacturers: God's judgment will come

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Pope Francis denounced those responsible for human trafficking, slave labor and arms manufacturing, saying people producing weapons of war are "merchants of death."

"One day everything comes to an end and they will be held accountable to God," the pope said at his weekly general audience Wednesday.

The pope also launched an appeal to the international community to help safeguard children from forced labor, highlighting the plight of an estimated 160 million child workers worldwide.

Pope Francis: Human trafficking is 'a crime against humanity'

Four women who were forced into sex slavery and later freed met Thursday with Pope Francis at an international conference on human trafficking held at the Vatican to combat what the pontiff called a "crime against humanity."

After a private meeting with the victims, 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.

Pope: Human trafficking is crime against humanity, must be stopped

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The trafficking of human beings is a crime against humanity and must be stopped, Pope Francis told diplomats.

"It's a disgrace" that people are treated "as objects, deceived, raped, often sold many times for different purposes and, in the end, killed or, in any case, physically and mentally damaged, ending up thrown away and abandoned," he said.

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August 15-28, 2014

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