In this photo taken on Friday, July 27, 2018, migrants rest at the port of Tarifa, southern Spain, after being rescued by Spain's Maritime Rescue Service in the Strait of Gibraltar, in Tarifa, Spain. Maritime rescue authorities say 751 migrants have been plucked Friday from 52 dinghies trying to reach Spanish shores from northern Africa, this year's most popular route into Europe. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno)

Pope decries human trafficking for forced labor, sex trade

July 29, 2018 - 7:05 am

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is urging everyone to combat the "shameful crime" of human trafficking, noting that it's often linked to migrant smuggling.

In remarks Sunday to the public in St. Peter's Square, Francis decried that many adults and children are trafficked into slavery for forced labor, sex businesses, organ trafficking, begging rackets and other criminal activities.

Francis noted that the United Nations will dedicate Monday to encouraging anti-trafficking efforts.

The pope added that "even migratory routes are often used by traffickers and exploiters to recruit new victims."

He encouraged people to realize that trafficking victims are often among them by saying "even here in Rome" the phenomenon is present, an apparent reference to the city's prostitutes, many of them trafficked from Africa or Eastern Europe.