Today marks the 48th World Day of Peace, a day commemorated by the Catholic Church to bring peace to every corner of the globe. Each year, the pope delivers a different message, and this year, Pope Francis' message clearly addresses the "growing scourge of man’s exploitation by man," stating:
"We ought to recognize that we are facing a global phenomenon which exceeds the competence of any one community or country. In order to eliminate it, we need a mobilization comparable in size to that of the phenomenon itself. For this reason I urgently appeal to all men and women of good will, and all those near or far, including the highest levels of civil institutions, who witness the scourge of contemporary slavery, not to become accomplices to this evil, not to turn away from the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, our fellow human beings, who are deprived of their freedom and dignity."
In December 2014, IJM president and founder Gary Haugen traveled to the Vatican to witness the signing of a declaration to end slavery by 2020, an initiative of the Global Freedom Network which was founded by Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Caterbury Justin Welby, and Andrew Forrest, founder of the Walk Free Foundation. The declaration was signed by more than 10 global faith leaders committed to ending this crime against humanity.
Watch the video of signing of the declaration below, courtesy of the Global Freedom Network:
Want to join faith leaders from all over the world in the fight to end modern day slavery? Sign up to be an IJM Freedom Parnter.