A group of religious leaders from around the world, including Jews, Christians and Muslims, have gotten together to sign a joint declaration against the proliferation of slavery in the modern world. The Jewish signatories included Rabbi Dr. Abraham Skorka and Rabbi Dr. David Rosen.
No, Slavery did not end when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. There is a great deal of slavery in the world today, much of it centered on the international trafficking of women who are forced into prostitution. Most of these women come from poor third world countries, are desperate and are not prostitutes by choice but were fooled into leaving their homes with the promise of work as domestic servants or nannies.
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In a declaration released today, the united clerics of many faiths stated, “Today, on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the Global Freedom Network (GFN) has brought together leaders of the Christian Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox, as well as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths who have jointly declared one common humanitarian endeavour: To eradicate modern slavery by 2020 throughout our world and for all time as a crime against humanity.”
The joint declaration stated: “”We, the undersigned, are gathered here today for a historic initiative to inspire spiritual and practical action by all global faiths and people of good will everywhere to eradicate modern slavery across the world by 2020 and for all time.
“In the eyes of God, each human being is a free person, whether girl, boy, woman or man, and is destined to exist for the good of all in equality and fraternity. Modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution, organ trafficking, and any relationship that fails to respect the fundamental conviction that all people are equal and have the same freedom and dignity, is a crime against humanity.
“We pledge ourselves here today to do all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond, to work together for the freedom of all those who are enslaved and trafficked so that their future may be restored. Today we have the opportunity, awareness, wisdom, innovation and technology to achieve this human and moral imperative.”
The group defined modern slavery as the systematic deprivation of a person’s liberty, and abuse of his or her body, for example through mutilation or organ removal, for the purposes of personal or commercial exploitation. Almost 36 million people are currently trapped in modern slavery.