World

Pope's anti-slavery initiative gets new support from Hindu, Buddhist, Jews and Muslims

  • In this photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis, front row, third right, poses with religious leaders on the occasion of the signing of a joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. Religious leaders from a half-dozen faiths have signed on to a new Vatican initiative to end modern-day slavery by 2020, declaring that human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution are crimes against humanity. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

    In this photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis, front row, third right, poses with religious leaders on the occasion of the signing of a joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. Religious leaders from a half-dozen faiths have signed on to a new Vatican initiative to end modern-day slavery by 2020, declaring that human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution are crimes against humanity. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis, center, and religious leaders gather to sign a joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. Religious leaders from a half-dozen faiths have signed on to a new Vatican initiative to end modern-day slavery by 2020, declaring that human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution are crimes against humanity. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

    In this photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis, center, and religious leaders gather to sign a joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. Religious leaders from a half-dozen faiths have signed on to a new Vatican initiative to end modern-day slavery by 2020, declaring that human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution are crimes against humanity. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this picture taken on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, the head of the pontifical academy, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican. Pope Francis and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, were joined Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 by the Hindu guru Mata Amritanandamayi, known as Amma, as well as Buddhist, Jewish and Shiite and Sunni Muslim representatives for a signing ceremony of a joint declaration against modern slavery. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo said Francis' concern stems from both the Gospel and his ministry to the residents of the slums of Buenos Aires when he was archbishop. "Here he came into contact with the drug situation, the situation of the excluded — and naturally the most dramatic form of exclusion is slavery, which is forced labor and prostitution," Sanchez Sorondo said in an interview ahead of the ceremony. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

    In this picture taken on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, the head of the pontifical academy, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican. Pope Francis and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, were joined Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 by the Hindu guru Mata Amritanandamayi, known as Amma, as well as Buddhist, Jewish and Shiite and Sunni Muslim representatives for a signing ceremony of a joint declaration against modern slavery. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo said Francis' concern stems from both the Gospel and his ministry to the residents of the slums of Buenos Aires when he was archbishop. "Here he came into contact with the drug situation, the situation of the excluded — and naturally the most dramatic form of exclusion is slavery, which is forced labor and prostitution," Sanchez Sorondo said in an interview ahead of the ceremony. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)  (The Associated Press)

Religious leaders from a half-dozen faiths have signed on to a new Vatican initiative to end modern-day slavery by 2020, declaring that human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution are crimes against humanity.

Pope Francis and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, were joined Tuesday by the Hindu guru Mata Amritanandamayi, known as Amma, as well as Buddhist, Jewish and Shiite and Sunni Muslim representatives for a signing ceremony of a joint declaration against modern slavery.

The declaration commits the signatories to do everything in their power and within their faith communities to work to free the estimated 35 million people enslaved across the world by 2020.