Archbishop of Canterbury to sign slavery agreement in Rome

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will join Pope Francis and representatives of other world faiths tomorrow at the Vatican to sign a joint statement calling for the elimination of slavery and human trafficking by 2020.

The ceremony scheduled for 11:15 am local time 2 December 2014 at the Casina Pio IV at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences will be broadcast live, a spokesman for Archbishop Welby told Anglican Ink, on the website of the Global Freedom Network – the organizer of the initiative.

Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France representing the Ecumenical Patriarch, and representatives of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sunni and Shia Islam are scheduled to participate in the ceremony.

In March Archbishop Welby said the Global Freedom Network was “being created to join the struggle against modern slavery and human trafficking from a faith base, so that we might witness to God’s compassion and act for the benefit of those who are abducted, enslaved and abused in this terrible crime.”

The Global Freedom Network estimates that “between 12 and 27 million people worldwide are enslaved into forced labor and sexual exploitation. Each year, about 2 million people are victims of sexual trafficking, 60% of whom are girls. Human organ trafficking is rife: annually around 20,000 people are forced or deceived into giving up an organ.”

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