In his first mass of 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican, Pope Francis called on all nations to fight modern-day slavery.
“All of us are called [by God] to be free, all are called to be sons and daughters, and each, according to his or her own responsibilities, is called to combat modern forms of enslavement,” he said in his New Year address.
Based on a recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are over 30 million people working as modern-day slaves worldwide. Three out of every 1,000 persons worldwide are in forced labor at any given time.
Pope Francis also said that he thinks of migrant workers who “experience hunger, are deprived of freedom, robbed of their possessions, or undergo physical and sexual abuse.”
He urged everyone, especially those “who witness the scourge of contemporary slavery,” to not become accomplices to human trafficking and help those who “are deprived of their freedom and dignity.”