Joint efforts against trafficking in human beings and modern slavery
(Lithuanian Santa Marta initiative)
Responding to the Holy Father Pope Francis’ call to the international community to adopt a more unified and effective strategy against human trafficking that has recently obtained the disgraceful and menacing shape of modern slavery, and aiming to ensure that any human would not be used as a means to an end, WE DECLARE that:
Any form of human trafficking and slavish exploitation, both in Lithuania and in any other state, violates human dignity and challenges not only the victims of the crime, but also the whole civilized world; weakens trust in justice; subverts mutual confidence within society and infringes on the international authority of the State.
The Catholic Church of Lithuania, together with the Lithuanian Police, express a strong will and high determination to cooperate in order to: solve the problems caused by modern slavery; coordinate their actions enhancing intolerance to humiliating work and living conditions; encourage resistance against the violation of human dignity and reckless exploitation of persons for the purposes of profiting. They are in agreement to enforce sustainable cooperation preventing all forms of trafficking in human beings and human organs; to identify the victims of these horrendous crimes; to render them help and ensure their personal safety according to one’s competence.
WE EXHORT other establishments of the Church, state and law enforcement institutions, municipalities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local communities in Lithuania, as well as Lithuanian communities abroad, to join the present Memorandum and contribute, according to one’s competences and capabilities, to the welfare of a just and sustainable Lithuania.
President of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop of Vilnius Gintaras Grušas
Police Commissioner General of Lithuania Linas Pernavas
26 June 2015, Vilnius