21-23 August 2019, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
We lament the exploitation and suffering of millions of people around the world who are victims of forced and unsafe migration and human trafficking. As people from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States, engaged in addressing the variety of challenges posed by human trafficking in many parts of Asia and gathered at the International Conference on “Migration and the Human Trafficking Crisis in Asia,” convened by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (USA) and Life With Dignity (Cambodia) we strongly appeal to all people of faith or belief and all others of goodwill as well as governments around the world to respond to the forces which perpetuate this crisis.
Human trafficking is not a problem experienced by some nameless and faceless people but one that indicts all of us as it thrives by commodifying some who are made and considered inferior and vulnerable by our prevailing structures and cultures. As such, the rampant practice of human trafficking poses serious challenges to the moral integrity of our generation. As faith communities, some of us have already taken stock and are addressing this shameful reality of human trafficking while others are seeking to understand and analyze these issues with a view to discerning the distinct role that churches and faith-based organizations alone can and must play.