The Order of Malta appoints two new Ambassadors to tackle the plague of human trafficking
The Sovereign Order of Malta has recently appointed two new Ambassadors tasked with combating human trafficking. Based in Geneva and in Lagos, Nigeria, Michel Veuthey- Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons – and Romain Champierre de Villeneuve- Ambassador at-large for Africa- will help strengthening the commitment of the Order of Malta in preventing the trafficking of humans and protecting the victims, with projects both at local and diplomatic level.
In a first meeting held at the Grand Magistry yesterday – together with the Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager- the new Ambassadors defined a set of goals aimed at strengthening relations with international stakeholders engaged in combating human trafficking and in raising awareness on this terrible blight that is increasing in scope and dimension, as the number of displaced rises in many parts of the world.
According to the International Labour Organization there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally. 68% of them are in forced labor. Human trafficking has become a huge business with annual profits of over US $150 billion, and is mostly rooted in the developing countries. 26% of victims are children and 55% are women and girls. Poverty, wars, climate change, caste discrimination and gender inequality represent fertile ground for modern slavery.
Drawing from the experience gained in many years of migrant and refugee assisting programmes in many parts of the world, one the first commitments of the Sovereign Order of Malta will be to participate on 27-28 September in the UN General Assembly special meeting focusing on the implementation of the “Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking Persons” adopted by the United Nations in July 2010.
Michel Veuthey and Romain Champierre de Villeneuve will then illustrate their mission and establish a working network in a meeting of Ambassadors and humanitarian workers of the Order of Malta, in particular in African States, to be held in Paris in early October.
The newly strengthened commitment of the Order of Malta answers Pope Francis’ call to end forced labour, modern slavery and trafficking in persons, as Monsignor Paul Gallagher stated addressing the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York a few days ago. A merciless phenomenon the Order of Malta has witnessed firsthand in its many projects to help displaced persons in countries of origin, transit and arrival.
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