*This interview was originally posted at Word on Fire*
Did you know there are more slaves today than at any point in human history? The growth of modern slavery has been fueled by human trafficking, which involves the trade of humans—often children—for labor, sex, surrogacy, or organ harvesting. It’s a growing concern that has drawn special attention from Pope Francis. He’s spoken against it several times during his pontificate, including twice in his exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. There he called it “a despicable activity, a disgrace for our societies,” lamenting this crime which “increasingly involves children subjected to the worst forms of exploitation and even recruitment into armed conflicts.”
Again in December, Pope Francis reiterated that modern slavery is “an issue that worries me very much and today is threatening people’s dignity.” He added: “This cannot go on.”
To help curb the growing number of people trafficked for labor, sex, or other forms of exploitation, the Pope called for a special conference in November which gathered experts from around the world to investigate and discuss this tragedy.
One of the participants in that conference was Elizabeth Yore, a globally recognized expert in human trafficking. She’s worked as Oprah Winfrey’s Child Advocate for Harpo Inc. and also served as General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She currently consults with various schools, institutions, and corporations on child exploitation issues.
Today, she joins me for a special video interview where we discuss what human trafficking is, what Elizabeth learned at the recent Vatican conference, and how individuals can help curb this problem.
1:39 – What is human trafficking and how prevalent is it?
2:51 – What did you learn at the Vatican’s conference on human trafficking?
6:24 – How does child surrogacy lead to human trafficking?
9:42 – What can individuals do to help curb this problem?
Follow Elizabeth at YoreChildren.com and also follow her on Twitter at @ElizebethYore. If you liked this discussion be sure to subscribe free to our blog via RSS to ensure sure you don’t miss future interviews.