The DHI was honoured to participate April 27th in an exclusive, invitation-only Vatican seminar on Human trafficking.
Hosted by the ever-impressive Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in conjunction with the Swedish government, the “Seminar on Trafficking – with a Special Focus on Children” featured H.M. The Queen of Sweden, and DHI Board Member H.E. Cardinal Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace.
After thanking her for the work she was doing to highlight the terrible reality of the trafficking of children Benjamin Harnwell, DHI Founder, asked Queen Silvia – citing Mother Teresa – whether she also thought there was a connection between abortion and the hardness of hearts shown towards children after they are born.
The Queen, whose husband King Carl XVI Gustav is the Swedish Head of State, made immediately clear that she didn’t want to – and cannot – enter the political debate on abortion. But as a global leader in the campaign for children’s welfare, her answer in the context of the question deserves careful study and reflection.
Harnwell put to Her Majesty that Mother Teresa suggested that a society that aborts its children will never fully recognize the human dignity of people once they’re born. He asked whether the way society in the West deals with children before they are born has somehow hardened our hearts to the plight of children being trafficked in the West today. “Is there is a correlation between these two events?,” Harnwell asked.
Queen Silvia replied:
“I must say that Mother Teresa was a wonderful person and all the work she did was really fantastic. She was a Nobel Peace Prize winner – and so she really was a model. To talk about humanity and dignity was very important to her heart – I must say – and so I think she is very right: and so whatever you can do to help the children – all children – really, we should do.
The DHI will leave this excerpt as it stands without any editorialising interpretation, and encourages DHI supporters to keep the great Swedish people, and their noble Queen, in their prayers: especially Queen Silvia’s mission to promote the rights of children – “all children” – in her work.
Taken from the Workshop programme:
“Inspired by the words of Pope Francis that ‘Human Trafficking is Modern Slavery’and that this practice is a ‘Crime against Humanity,’the purpose of the seminar is to highlight the special situation of children as victims of human trafficking as well as what measures, be it national legislation or international efforts, can be taken to protect better the rights of children. Practical examples of how children are affected and of possible legal measures will be given at the seminar.”