Statement by The All Africa Conference of Churches on The Occasion of The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
From the All Africa Conference of Churches
In Genesis 37:1, the Bible informs us that Joseph was sold by his brothers out of sheer jealousy and envy. Likewise, history holds that in previous centuries Africa experienced the slave trade. Indeed, many Africans have been sold by their own brothers, sisters, and leaders for one reason or another. It was enough to become a threat to the community, royalty, a friend, or even the family that one would run the risk of being sold to slavers during their next visit to the region. And that was how Africa has been deprived of its able-bodied arms, sent to the confines of America to the sugar cane and other plantations. One might think that following the abolition of the slave trade, this horrible and shameful phenomenon has been eradicated from the existence of mankind. But it is clear that we were wrong to think so; because nowadays we are witnessing a new form of slavery. The only fact that changed is that it is no longer black/Africans who are falling victims, but everybody anywhere and victims are not only sold by someone else, sometimes they sold themselves out not knowing what they are getting into, while some just out of ignorance fall in the hands of traffickers who claim to help them.
Our brothers and sisters, wives, and children are being trafficked, smuggled into force labours, sexual exploitation, and child soldiers. As AACC, while fighting the phenomenon to preserve people’s God-given human dignity, we have been documenting the phenomenon of human trafficking and irregular migration. And our discovery was that anyone and everybody could be a victim. Also, poverty, social factors and cultural practices, conflict and natural disasters, and lack of information about the issue among others are the root causes.
While we are once again pausing to mark the world day against trafficking in persons, the AACC is reminding us that:
- As churches and people of God,
- We are called to preserve people’s God-given rights and life, protect their dignity, and show them God’s love. Consequently, as we call on each one of us to educate our people about the phenomenon so that they do not fall victims, we are equally demanding that our diaconal ministries are activated in order to provide psychosocial support to the victim to restore their dignity and heal those who are traumatized.
- We are the prophetic voice in the nation and in the world. Hence, it is our responsibility to advocate and call on government and world leaders to promote a safe environment for people who are pushed into forced migration or would-be migrants.
- As government,
- It is your responsibility to set up a safe migration policy for your people;
- You need to implement the various aspiration of the AU Agenda 2063 for an integrated Africa and for the well-being of your people.
Thus, the AACC is calling on the RECs, government, CSO, FBOs, and all stakeholders
- To play their respective role so we to set up better migration governance at the national level;
- To get involved in the Rabat process to ensure that migrants’ basic needs and catered for are respected
“I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me” Matthew 25:43