Suceava Archbishop’s anti-human trafficking decalogue

Marking the European Anti-Trafficking Day, His Eminence Archbishop Calinic of Suceava and Rădăuţi published a decalogue for preventing and combating this social phenomenon with profound adverse effects on children, women, families and communities.

“God, today, more than ever, needs Levites and priests, faithful people, to protect the old, the young, the women, the girls and the children. He needs people of good faith who feel the pain of the broken and help the ones who fell among robbers, like the Good Samaritan – Christ. God needs PEOPLE!” the Archbishop of Suceava wrote, drawing attention to the fact that the problem concerns us all.

Archbishop Calinic’s Decalogue of Prudence: How to prevent and combat human trafficking

  1. Increase your vigilance because only in this way will you be able to escape the influence of human trafficking, which has become an international multi-billion dollar/euro industry based on organized crime, second only to drug trafficking in profitability. This industry specializes in the depersonalization of man, his physical, mental and spiritual destruction, and methods and practices that turn man into a commodity.
  2. Do not be fooled by the empty promises of leaders of mafia clans, specialized in this social scourge, nor by the inviting word of those in their entourage, even if – by chance, once – they were your friends, neighbours, acquaintances, work or school colleagues, partners. The believable and compelling stories they present can hide your life’s drama.
  3. Do not covet the carob pods of a better life at all costs, like the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32), falling into the net of false hopes and illusory achievements, which can endanger your dignity and limit your freedom.
  4. Do not let yourselves, young men and women, be bewitched by the beauty of your face and do not rely on the attractiveness of your body, for an apparently easy gain and a temporary power, like Delilah (Judges 16: 4-5), lest you will become unrecognizable after passing through hell.
  5. Do not tolerate degrading coercive treatment, coercion by violence, verbal, physical and emotional abuse, believing that there is no alternative, lest the evil accepted today become eviler tomorrow and the abused become aggressors.
  6. Be wary of those who do not respect human dignity and fundamental rights not to become an object of profit, a commodity, or a tool to defraud those of good faith. Do not join such criminal groups because once you fall into their web, you will have no justification or any kind of protection, not even from those who are supposed to defend you and many of whom, unfortunately, have consciences and hands stained by the blood of fellow people who met a painfully unjust end.
  7. Be vigilant because the merchants of living meat work today unhindered because today’s society no longer has a Nehemiah who fights against such tendencies to exploit the fellow person (Nehemiah 5: 1-11) and no Amos to warn that the wrath of God in different forms is upon us because we sold “the innocent for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals” (Amos 2:6).
  8. Think about the drama that Joseph, the son of Jacob, went through being sold by his brothers in Egypt and whose divine gifts were used for the profit of his masters (Genesis 37: 20-28). His painful experience remains a reminder for the ages, which can be repeated with each of us, but perhaps not with the same happy outcome.
  9. Be watchful and do not be indifferent to the suffering of the helpless so that your conscience does not rebuke you and ask yourselves like the Righteous Job: “If I have denied justice to any of my servants, whether male or female when they had a grievance against me, what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account? Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?” (Job 31: 13-15).
  10. Pray that God may send to this country people who will set the captive and the oppressed free and break every kind of yoke; to protect and deliver their fellows from and out of the hands of the wicked; to defend the rights of those kidnapped from their home and land and those exploited for petty interests; who will do justice and judgment to all the oppressed.

The Romanian Patriarchate is a partner of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (ANITP) in the national campaign to prevent human trafficking titled “United, we offer freedom! Exploitation oppresses souls and destroys destinies.”

On Sunday, an awareness message was read out in the churches of the Romanian Patriarchate regarding the phenomenon of human trafficking.


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