Pandemic Blamed For Creating Conditions For Increased Human Trafficking

May 5, 2021

The pandemic-related economic downturn, business closures, increase in global unemployment and reduced incomes have contributed to greater human trafficking of children, women, domestic workers and migrants without legal status.

That is the assessment of a Miami law professor and newly appointed member of Pope Francis’ Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, created in 2016 through the merger of four pontifical councils.

The dicastery is charged with developing and promoting the church’s teaching in the fields of justice, peace, the safeguarding of creation, as well as issues that concern health and works of charity. It now includes several COVID-19-related working groups.

“There is evidence of an increase in the commercial sexual exploitation of children, child work, girl-child marriages to alleviate families’ hardship, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation of women and children living in internally displaced person (IDP) camps, including camps in Haiti,” said professor Roza Pati, of St. Thomas University’s College of Law.

Pati is executive director of the university’s intercultural human rights program and founding director of the Miami-based John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy.

Citing recent reports from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations and Polaris, a nongovernmental organization that operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline, she noted the pandemic has set the stage for greater illegal activity related to human trafficking.

Read the full story by Tom Tracy on Angelus.