Vatican City, 2 December 2014 (VIS) – The following is the full text of the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery
“We, the undersigned, are gathered here today for a historic initiative to inspire spiritual and practical action by all global faiths and people of good will everywhere to eradicate modern slavery across the world by 2020 and for all time.
“In the eyes of God*, each human being is a free person, whether girl, boy, woman or man, and is destined to exist for the good of all in equality and fraternity. Modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution, organ trafficking, and any relationship that fails to respect the fundamental conviction that all people are equal and have the same freedom and dignity, is a crime against humanity.
“We pledge ourselves here today to do all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond, to work together for the freedom of all those who are enslaved and trafficked so that their future may be restored. Today we have the opportunity, awareness, wisdom, innovation and technology to achieve this human and moral imperative”.
*The Grand Imam of Al Azhar uses the word “religions”.
- Catholicism: Pope Francis;
- Hinduism: Her Holiness Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma);
- Buddhism: Venerable Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong, representing Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Thailand; Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana, Chief High Priest of Malaysia;
- Judaism: Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Rabbi David Rosen KSG, CBE;
- Orthodox: His Eminence Emmanuel, Metropolitan of France, representing the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I;
- Islam: Abbas Abdalla Abbas Soliman, undersecretary of State of Al Azhar Alsharif, representing Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar; the Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi; Sheikh Naziyah Razzaq Jaafar, special advisor, representing Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Basheer Hussain al Najafi; Sheikh Omar Abboud;
- Anglicanism: His Grace Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury.