Friday, July 21, 2017

Religious Life in Peru Against Human Trafficking

In order to strengthen and support the work of the national network of Consecrated Life and Priests committed to reducing this scourge of human trafficking and respond adequately, the Fifth National Meeting of the Red Kawsay in Peru (of which we are part) was held.

During these three days of meetings, we dealt with issues of prevention, advocacy, applicability of the Anti-Trafficking Law, the migration situation in Peru, trafficking, ethics and corruption as well as a powerful theological reflection on human trafficking in the light of the icon of the Visitation.

It was a very significant time because, as explained in the Final Declaration of the Meeting, the participants were very moved by the recent events of labor exploitation seen in the fire of the Nicollini Building (Cercado de Lima). As a result, the Red Kawsay united in prayer and expressed its sorrow and condemnation of this event and all forms of trafficking in persons: “We are indignant at the normalization of these deeply rooted practices in society and we demand due process for the victims and for their families who cry out for justice," the Declaration says.

Likewise, some practices of the Network were shared in coordination with state operators that are being developed in Puno and Madre de Dios, as well as the experience of the Network ‘A Cry for Life’ in Brazil and the initiative to form Red Kawsay Bolivia.

Through reflection on the various topics discussed, as Red Kawsay we felt a strong call for a greater professionalism in the members of the Network, with a focus on awareness and advocacy, particularly for accountability and inspection from the Peruvian State as a strategy for prevention.

We are grateful for the space of meeting, prayer, learning and training.

You can read below the complete Final Declaration:

"Trafficking in persons is ... a wound in the body of Christ, and for this reason the Church together with the people of good will cry out! Let us unite efforts to help the victims."- Pope Francis

On July 6, 7 and 8, 2017, 45 participants: religious, priests and a laity from Tacna, Puno, La Libertad, Madre de Dios, Huánuco, Lambayeque, Piura, Ancash, San Martin, Ayacucho and Lima met in the retreat house of the Colegio de Jesús in Pueblo Libre to celebrate the 5th National Meeting of the Red Kawsay - "Consecrated Life for a society without human trafficking."

Still shocked by the recent events of labor exploitation seen in the tragedy of the Nicollini Building, as Red Kawsay we unite in prayer and express our sorrow and condemnation of this event and all forms of human trafficking. We are indignant at the naturalization of these deeply entrenched practices in society and we demand due process for the victims and their families who claim justice.

Starting from the Gospel of the Visitation (Luke 1:39-45) that served as an inspiring icon for the Consecrated Life of Latin America, we feel called upon and challenged to take initiatives that are more concrete and consistent with our commitment to fight against this scourge: in the recognition, defense and respect of human dignity (and one’s inalienable right to work in dignified conditions); in solidarity with the victims of human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants; and with the hope and strength that comes from God which we want to share.

In these past 7 years as the Red Kawsay we feel the grace of all we have learned, of acquiring a position within the country and civil society that recognize us as allies. At the same time, this recognition invites us to a greater professionalism, focusing our resources better on awareness and advocacy, particularly in the inspection of state actions as a prevention strategy.

As people of Faith:
  • We offer a perspective and take action from the vision of the Kingdom, to have relationships and humanizing encounters that reaffirm our call and commitment to promote the dignity of life.
  • We promote prevention actions in the different mission areas (parish, schools, groups, families, institutions and others).
  • We promote justice that dignifies the person affected by trafficking, and at the same time re-humanizes the trafficker and those surrounding him/her.
  • We focus on the creation of adequate and specialized safe spaces for accompanying the victims.
  • We contribute initiatives to local and regional governments without giving up the prophetic voice that denounces the impunity, inaction and inertia of some entities of the State linked to corruption.
  • We opt for the truth and the strengthening of a culture of peace with an emphasis on respect for life and fundamental rights.
  • We confront the naturalization of trafficking, and violence in its various forms.
  • We sensitize and raise awareness about the reality of human trafficking in the diocese through bishops, priests, religious and church institutions.
  • We will discern a careful accompaniment to the various actors, causes and effects of trafficking from coordinated and networked work.

Aware of living in new times and called to make real the presence of God in the world, we want our solidarity with the people affected by trafficking to be hopeful, contagious, and active to help bring about the Kingdom of God through the way of Jesus.

Lima, July 2017

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