LAGOS – The Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, on Thursday, called for collaboration among world leaders to eradicate human rights abuses, trafficking and slavery.
The call is contained in the Pope’s message entitled: “No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters” read by the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
The message was to the 48th World Day of Peace, which is Jan. 1, celebrated by Catholic faithful, the world over.
Pope Francis said human trafficking had destroyed the lives of millions of children, women and men, making it a real threat to peace.
He described human trafficking as crime against humanity, an open wound on the body of contemporary society, and a scourge upon the body of Christ.
He said “many people think that slavery is a thing of the past, this social plague remains all too real in today’s world with child labour, forced prostitution, trafficking of organs and other forms of forced labour.
“Trafficking, which generates huge amounts of income for organised crime, threatens world peace because it is based on the lack of recognition of fundamental human dignity of its victims.
“Fraternity requires us to reject any inequality which will allow one person to enslave another.
“Our purpose is to build a civilised world based on equal dignity of every person without discrimination through collective efforts.’’
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Adewale Martins, while fielding questions from newsmen urged Nigerians to put aside their differences, embrace peace, love and care for one another.
Martins said most societies were experiencing profound poverty of relationships as a result of the lack of solid family and community relationships.
Commenting on the security situation in the country, he urged government at all levels to train, provide necessary equipment and incentives to security agencies to perform their functions.
He called for the creation of more jobs for Nigerian youths and social amenities for the masses.
He urged political leaders to lead Nigerians with the fear of God, warning them to be cautious of their actions, as they would one day account for their stewardship. (NAN)